Academic Bias, II

Read the latest column by George Mason Professor of economics and nationally syndicated columnist, Walter Williams, for yet more evidence on the academy’s bias.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Bias? What Bias?

Harry recently posted about liberal academia. The London-based Economist magazine (a moderate-left paper, in my opinion) has an article about the phenomenon in its latest issue. The Economist calls liberals’ reluctance to release their grip on academia is a “tragedy not just for America’s universities but also for liberal thought.”
Here is some more:
“Academia is simultaneously both the part of America that is most obsessed with diversity, and the least diverse part of the country. On the one hand, colleges bend over backwards to hire minority professors and recruit minority students, aided by an ever-burgeoning bureaucracy of “diversity officers”. Yet, when it comes to politics, they are not just indifferent to diversity, but downright allergic to it.
Evidence of the atypical uniformity of American universities grows by the week. The Centre for Responsive Politics notes that this year two universities—the University of California and Harvard—occupied first and second place in the list of donations to the Kerry campaign by employee groups, ahead of Time Warner, Goldman Sachs, Microsoft et al. Employees at both universities gave 19 times as much to John Kerry as to George Bush. Meanwhile, a new national survey of more than 1,000 academics by Daniel Klein, of Santa Clara University, shows that Democrats outnumber Republicans by at least seven to one in the humanities and social sciences. And things are likely to get less balanced, because younger professors are more liberal. For instance, at Berkeley and Stanford, where Democrats overall outnumber Republicans by a mere nine to one, the ratio rises above 30 to one among assistant and associate professors.”
And my favorite:
“It is notable that the surveys show far more conservatives in the more rigorous disciplines such as economics than in the vaguer 1960s ‘ologies’.”
If you would like to read the whole article, it can be found here with no subscription required (though I’m not sure how long that will last).

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

One in Three New Yorkers on Medicaid?

Yep.
Jane Galt writes:
As you may or may not know, the states set the level of Medicaid spending, but the Feds match the states dollar for dollar. New York State decided that a good way to soak up extra Federal money was to require the local governments to match the state, dollar for dollar. Since the Feds match all state and local spending, this had the effect of doubling Medicare spending in the state of New York…

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Your Tax Dollars in Action

I propose that we add two new words to the English language:
wandingerous adj., colorless, feeble, tiresome and repetitious — wandingerousness n. To see why you should read the opinion piece by Angela Wandinger-Ness in the Albuquerque Journal Friday (11/10).
In it she attacks our president John Dendahl for poor writing and lack of rigor. Here is a sample of what she thinks is good writing:
“There should be accountability and a factual basis that underlies a credible opinion.”
I am not making this up. If you have a subscription to the Albuquerque Journal , you yourself can compare the writing skills of John and Ms Wandinger-Ness. Now tell me what do you think of my proposed new words!
With respect to lack of rigor, Ms Wandinger-Ness cites the ACLU website as evidence that John has not done his homework. The ACLU website???? Why doesn’t she look here or here or here?
Ms Wandinger-Ness lost her PC constraint in the article. I guess the Academy will forgive her, since her personal insults are directed at someone who does not share the Academy’s world view. Aren’t you glad your tax dollars fund such wandingerousness?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

What Fun!

In my post last Sunday I emphasized three margins to help you assess presidential election strategies. The turnout margin for Republicans turned out to be decisive, making the other margins irrelevant nationwide. It sure is fun to be right!
Even though the other margins are irrelevant nationwide, the Democrat’s fraud margin is getting interesting play here in New Mexico. Our politically ambitious governor has a huge stake in turning our state blue. How many of the 19,500 “provisional ballots” will be valid? Who decides on whether or not a ballot is valid; and how much individual discretion can the deciders exercise? What percentage of the “valid” ballots will go for Bush? Is the percentage of these ballots for Bush statistically possible? We may not be so dumb that we cannot answer these questions precisely. And if the result turns out to be out of the range of statistical possibility, what will that do to our governor’s reputation? You yourself can watch as the results are tallied. This is fun. Stay tuned.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Assessing Election Strategies

Thankfully the election will be over in two days. The presidential election appears to be quite close. However it turns out, the economic way of thinking may help you assess the success or failure of each party’s strategies.
Economists think at the margin. Margins are net changes from an existing situation. Taking the existing situation as the 2000 presidential election, what strategies may make a difference at the “margin?”
Get out the vote: Post 2000 election analyses suggested that the Democrats were far more effective at getting out the vote. If that is the case, then Republicans likely have more to gain at the margin than do Democrats. Advantage Republicans
Engaging in Fraud: It looks like Democrats are taking political entrepreneurship to new heights! Republicans may be engaging in fraud, too; but so far they have not been caught. How many extra votes will the Democrats get from the “living dead,” dogs, or those “voting early and often?” We will probably be able to tell by examining election results where fraud is suspected. Advantage Democrats.
Legal Challenges: Armies of lawyers from both parties are poised to challenge results in battleground states. One new tactic being tried by Democrats is to challenge results based on voters being “disenfranchised.” “Provisional ballot” rules are somewhat vague and could lead to high-stakes political war. If you want more detail on what is going on check here or here. Advantage: unknown. If the Republicans were sitting on their hands, there would be a large Democrat advantage. The net marginal effect will probably depend on how well each side is able to persuade the public of the righteousness of their arguments. This should be quite interesting if the election is close.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Crazy is Popular these Days

“Lyndon LaRouche is an ex-con who thinks brainwashed zombies have been sent to kill him, Dick Cheney is a tool of Satan and September 11 was an American military plot. Guess what? You’ve paid him millions to run for president.” This was the lead in to the October 24th Washington Post Magazine cover story on LaRouche by April Witt. It doesn’t amaze me that there are such crazy people in the world. What really amazes me is how far they get in life. If you haven’t spent time on a college campus recently, you might not know just how popular LaRouche is with the college crowd. It’s truly amazing. The story is long, but well worth the read.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email