The Battle Over Political Correctness Continues
For those of you who are new to this story, and have not been following the story of my adventures at Loyola College of Maryland, I was accused of racism and sexism for explaining the male-female, and the white-black wage gaps. Here is a bit of recapitulation of this thread:
Electronic Media has offered the following: here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here. Here and here are two very different takes on this episode from my own school. For my own viewpoint on this episode, see here, here, here, here, here and here.
The present chapter in this saga consists of several sections. In the first, there are letters to the editor of the Times Picayune, the major newspaper of New Orleans, and my replies to them. The letters are reprinted below, but may be found here (Soublet), here (Doheny), here (Quant), here (Baker) and here (Father Wildes, S.J., president of the Loyola University New Orleans). (I have previously reported on my longer correspondences with Quant and Wildes; what appears below breaks entirely new ground.)
These five published letters to the editor of the Times Picayune were in response to James Gill’s "Loyola economist is off-base on productivity,” 12/1/08, that reported on a speech I gave at Loyola College Maryland. I asked the editor for a reply of 800 words, the usual length of an op-ed. That was denied. In return, I was then offered 250 words, which I duly sent off the editor of this newspaper. This was rejected on the ground that the context of my reply was unclear. Well, yes, it is difficult to respond to five letters in so few words. In what follows, I reprint these letters, followed by my non-truncated, well, greatly expanded for this venue, responses.
In section II I offer an exchange with a professor from the Baltimore area who attended the lecture. He is the only attendee, at least so far, who has written me about this issue. Section III is devoted to my attempt to become, of all things, a theologian. I conclude in section IV with some reflections about my experiences.
I. Block’s unpublished letters to the editor of the Times Picayune
1a. David Soublet:
Loyola economist is off-base on productivity; Monday, December 01, 2008 Re: “A tough sell in the marketplace of ideas,” Other Opinions, Nov. 26.
Walter Block’s blockheaded theories about pay discrepancies are shallow and ignorant. What’s more disappointing and dangerous is the fact that he chairs the economics department of a Catholic university, where he has a regular forum to spread such nonsense.
The productivity of an employee, or a group of employees, is not governed by sex or race.
Quality of management influences productivity as much as any other factor. The so-called lower IQs of women and black people help us immediately recognize injustices in the work force, like top executives of failing companies paying each other absurd amounts despite their lack of productivity.
Had Africans been less productive, under Block’s rationale, there would have been no market incentive to steal them away to America to labor as slaves at the hands of the “more productive” white male.
Mr. Block should be fired, and until he is, I am ashamed of being Catholic.
My talented, intelligent black Catholic daughter will graduate from high school next May and has already been admitted to three universities. Thanks to Block’s warped views and his position at Loyola, we have eliminated one more school from consideration for her post-secondary education.
David M. Soublet, New Orleans
1b. Block responds to Soublet
David Soublet ("Loyola economist is off-base on productivity" 12/1/08) will not send his daughter to Loyola because of my "blockheaded theories." I wonder at the need for name-calling. Surely, it is not conducive to civil discourse.
Let me assure Mr. Soublet that most professors at my university do not at all subscribe to my free enterprise philosophy. For example, most of them would not at all agree with me about the fact that "top executives of failing companies paying each other absurd amounts despite their lack of productivity." In my view, but not theirs, this is not due to capitalism, but rather stems from the socialist and fascist elements of our mixed economy. Let us ask a very basic economic question: Why are these firms able to get away with "paying each other absurd amounts"? This is due not to following the tenets of laissez faire; rather, the government has removed one of the market’s fail-safe mechanisms with its insider trading laws. Michael Milken is the poster boy for this particular market safety device. Paying executives far in excess of their productivity lowers stock values of such companies. Milken used to swoop in, buy up such artificially low-priced shares, kick out bloated management, and make vast profits, thus ending the very behavior to which Mr. Soublet, quite reasonably, objects. It cannot be denied that "quality of management influences productivity." But this underscores even more the importance of deregulating markets, not hemming them in with a welter of regulations.
Mr. Soublet calls into question the "so-called lower IQs of women." And, he does so quite rightly too, in my opinion. But he blames me for saying this. In contrast, the record shows that I have said this about that issue: "As far as I am aware, the gap in IQ between men and women either does not exist, or, is so statistically insignificant that it can play no explanatory role." Mr. Soublet should be appraised of the fact that it is illegitimate to castigate me for something I did not say, indeed, something concerning which I am on record as denying. It is only appropriate to criticize an author for what he actually wrote, not for something that someone else (mistakenly) attributed to him. If Mr. Soublet’s daughter were to attend Loyola University New Orleans, I and at least some of my colleagues would try to convince her of the merits of such a principle.
Mr. Soublet states "Had Africans been less productive, under Block’s rationale, there would have been no market incentive to steal them away to America to labor as slaves…" I fear he is conflating "less productive" with "zero productivity," or perhaps "negative productivity." He would be quite correct in asserting that had black Africans has zero or negative productivity, "… there would have been no … incentive to steal them away to America to labor as slaves." But, merely, with lower productivity, this would not at all follow.
However, I disagree with Mr. Soublet most strongly when he attributes slavery to a "market incentive." The free market, or the free enterprise system, or laissez faire capitalism, is predicated on private property rights and voluntary trade. Those black Africans who were enslaved had their private property rights in their own bodies abrogated. There was nothing voluntary about their capture, kidnapping and enslavement. Indeed, the very opposite was the case. Stealing, kidnapping, theft, murder, rape, all of which was endured by these people, is the polar opposite of free markets.
As to me being "fired," is this not a bit harsh? After all, I am not guilty of any of the charges he makes against me. Rather, they have been falsely attributed to me. Even if I were guilty of them, does Mr. Soublet really want to send his daughter to an institution of higher learning where there will be little or no diversity of ideas? Where she will be exposed, only, to one side of many contentious issues? I certainly would not want my own daughter’s intellect to be stunted in such a fashion.
Clubhouse is off-limits; Tuesday, December 02, 2008; Re: “A tough sell in the marketplace of ideas,” Other Opinions, Nov. 26.
I’m no economist, but Walter Block’s assertion that income gaps between women, African-Americans and white males exist not because of racism or sexism but because women and black people are “less productive” is ridiculously easy to refute.
Like other Randian/Libertarians who read Atlas Shrugged in college (and, unlike the rest of us, failed to grow up and recognize it for the load of adolescent nonsense that it is) Mr. Block assumes that humans will unfailingly behave with rational self-interest, and that therefore if black people and women were as productive as white males, white employers would rush to hire them.
But as any black person or female who aspires to the corner office will tell you, the “old boys club” is made profoundly uncomfortable by the presence of women and minorities in the executive suite. They’ll gladly accept a competitive disadvantage if it means they don’t have to play golf with “those people.”
Our economy is currently circling the drain because powerful white men failed to conduct themselves with long-term “rational self-interest” and instead acted like short-sighted, heedless greed-heads. Compared to that, refusing the possible contributions of women and minorities at the executive level is small potatoes.
John S. P. Doheny, New Orleans
2b. Block responds to Doheny
John Doheny ("Clubhouse is off-limits" 12/2/08) fails to reckon with the fact that if "the u2018old (white) boys club’ is made profoundly uncomfortable by the presence of women and minorities" they will lose out in the competitive struggle of the market under free enterprise (here, we assume no bailouts!). Those who do not indulge such prejudices will out-compete them. One need not resort to the assumption "that humans will unfailingly behave with rational self-interest" to reach this conclusion. All that is necessary to posit is that, other things equal, those who act to a greater degree than others to maximize profits will drive into bankruptcy others, who do not act in this fashion, or do so less intensively.
If private entrepreneurs "… accept a competitive disadvantage if it means they don’t have to play golf with u2018those people,’" they are not long for the world of business, provided, again, that the government does not bail them out. And, as for Atlas Shrugged, this is by far the best novelization of the benefits, both moral and economic, of allowing markets to be free. I assign this magnificent book to all my introductory courses in economics, to the great intellectual benefit of these students.
I agree that "Our economy is currently circling the drain because (of) powerful white men," for the most part. But it is people in the government, to a great degree employed by the Federal Reserve System, who are responsible. They are not private businessmen, of whatever color or hue.
3a. Quant White supremacy theory proved fatal and false; Wednesday, December 03, 2008; Re: “A tough sell in the marketplace of ideas,” Other Opinions, Nov. 25.
Loyola University professor Walter Block asserts that black people and women are less productive than white men because women have only “average” intelligence needed for motherhood but not for “leading corporations”; he cites discredited research that asserts black people have lower IQs than white people.
Apparently the havoc wrought by 500 years of pseudoscientific “proofs” of white supremacy is not sufficiently instructive. Millions of native peoples were slaughtered and Africans enslaved while theologians debated whether they had souls or were even human.
The racial theories of American eugenics led to forced sterilizations and Nazi racial policies that categorized certain peoples as “life unworthy of life.” With great Aryan efficiency, millions were murdered.
There have always been academicians ready to provide “scientific” proof of white supremacy and a justification for racial and gender discrimination.
Will the next step be demanding the repeal of civil right laws to allow discrimination against those Block deems unproductive? This is the logic and legacy of such flawed analysis.
Ted Quant, New Orleans
3b. Block replies to Quant
Mr. Ted Quant ("White supremacy theory proved fatal and false," 12/3/08) inexplicably links my analysis of the male-female and white-black earnings gap of some 30% to the historical slaughter and enslavement of minority groups. If he had listened to what I had actually said at that speech, or read any of my many publications on this topic (google me; I have a paper trail a mile long) he would not likely have engaged in such hysterical charges.
Mr. Quant heads up the Twomey Center at Loyola University New Orleans. Therefore, I presume, he is a scholar. As such, he ought to be willing to tell me the source of his citation to me, saying this, in his words: "Walter Block asserts that black people and women are less productive than white men because women have only u2018average’ intelligence needed for motherhood but not for u2018leading corporations.’" From the fact that he places in quote marks the word and phrase, respectively, "average," and "leading corporations," I deduce that he is indeed citing my written, spoken, or published thoughts. But what is their context? In what way did I use these terms? Surely, mere use of these terms, "average," and "leading corporations," is not itself objectionable? There must be something more offensive of which I am guilty. But what? I am still greatly in the dark on these issues, despite repeated entreaties to Mr. Quant to enlighten me.
He says that I "cite … discredited research that asserts black people have lower IQs than white people." I am not sure of the "discredited" part of this. The book I mentioned, rather, is part of a fierce ongoing intellectual debate: Herrnstein, Richard J., and Murray, Charles. 1994. The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life, New York: The Free Press. Does Mr. Quant’s assertion mean that anyone who merely "cites" this book is implicated in the fact that "Millions of native peoples were slaughtered and Africans enslaved?" This seems to be something of an excessive reach on Mr. Quant’s part. Surely, mere mention of this volume does not logically imply anything of the sort.
Mr. Quant asks: "Will the next step be demanding the repeal of civil right laws to allow discrimination against those Block deems unproductive? This is the logic and legacy of such flawed analysis." No, this is not at all the "logic" of citing the Herrnstein-Murray book. Nothing logically follows from the mere citation of this or any other book.
Further, Mr. Quant fails to distinguish between the normative realm (civil rights laws should be repealed), and the positive (the analysis and conclusions of the Bell Curve are correct.) At least according to David Hume, no such implication is valid.
As it happens, I do favor the repeal of the so-called "Civil Rights" Act of 1964. I do so on grounds other than that I happened to have cited the Bell Curve in a speech. I oppose this pernicious piece of legislation because it violates rights. No one, black, white, male female, heterosexual, homosexual, "abled" or "differently abled," etc., has a right against all others that they not discriminate against them. If they did, then the law should mandate compulsory bi-sexuality. For heterosexual males (females) discriminate in their choice of a marriage partner against all men (women). Homosexual males (females) discriminate in their choice of a marriage partner against all women (men). It is only the bi-sexual who engages in neither of these discriminatory practices. Now, to be sure, the "Civil Rights" Act of 1964 does not protect rights in marriage, or personal relationships, only in commercial endeavors. But, if we are to extrapolate from the logic of this malicious law, we cannot deny this inference. If people have the right not to be discriminated against, then, logically, this should apply to all realms of life, the personal as well as the commercial. Therefore, I ask, does Mr. Quant, or does he not, favor compulsory bi-sexuality? The laws of logic require him either to take this position, or, to renounce his support for the "Civil Rights" Act of 1964.
Sounds Familiar; Sunday, December 07, 2008; Re: “A tough sell in the marketplace of ideas,” Other Opinions, Nov. 26.
Professor Walter Block may not speak for Loyola University, but he sounds worse than their spokesman in 1944 who told me upon application to the new Business School: “We cannot admit females because when they graduate they will take a job that a man needs to support a family.”
I went next door to Tulane and graduated in 1948.
Angela Moynan Baker, New Orleans
4b. Block replies to Baker
Angela Baker ("Sounds familiar," 12/7/08) blames me for something she was told by a representative of Loyola University New Orleans in 1944. I wasn’t on the faculty, then; I was only three years old at the time.
That spokesman for Loyola University New Orleans was laboring under what economists call the "lump of labor" fallacy: there is only so much work in the world to be done, and if some people hog it up (females, for example), then there will not be enough for others (in this case, male heads of households), to access through employment. Bosh, tosh, and nonsense. Very much to the contrary, there is virtually an unlimited amount of labor to be done in the real world. It is indefinitely large, only limited by man’s desires. As long as we want more than we have, that is, as long as there is economic scarcity, there will be employment slots in the free market. Why, then, do we have unemployment? It is caused by government, not free enterprise. The state creates joblessness through minimum wage laws, union legislation, interfering with market interest rates through its monetary czar (the federal reserve system.)
Expression is his right; Wednesday, December 03, 2008
I want to be very clear that while Professor Walter Block, the Harold E. Wirth Eminent Scholar Chair in Economics, is a member of Loyola University New Orleans’ Economics Department, he is not the chair of the department nor does he speak for the university.
However, like any American, under the First Amendment of the Constitution, Professor Block is entitled to freedom of speech and expression.
Universities are places of argument and disagreement. They are laboratories of free expression and academic inquiry. This is how we advance knowledge and learning. There are many members of the university community who disagree with Professor Block. In fact, Loyola will host a colloquium on the views expressed by Professor Block in the near future. Loyola enjoys a robust history of serving students from all economic and ethnic backgrounds and educating them to lead extraordinary lives. All are welcome here and all thrive here. One professor’s views do not a university make.
Kevin Wm. Wildes, S.J., Ph.D.
5b. Block replies to Wildes
Kevin Wildes, S.J. ("Expression is his right." 12/3/08) says that "Universities are places of argument and disagreement. They are laboratories of free expression and academic inquiry." I disagree. He should have said "Great universities like Loyola University New Orleans are places of argument and disagreement. They are laboratories of free expression and academic inquiry" Unhappily, most institutions of higher learning, nowadays, do not support diversity of opinion. For example, Loyola College in Maryland is a case in point. Compare the statement of its president, Fr. Linnane, S.J., with that of Fr. Wildes, S.J., which appears immediately above.
Fr. Linnane, S.J. says "… invited speaker Professor Walter Block, an economist from Loyola University New Orleans, delivered an address on u2018Injustices in the Politics and Economics of Social Justice.’ Many in attendance found some of Professor Block’s comments … insensitive … we will not endorse or support racism, sexism or any other form of intolerance." He does so without mentioning any racism or sexism of which I am guilty.
Fr. Wildes, S.J., in very sharp contrast, indeed, insists on my "right" of expression. On 12/3/08 he promised that "Loyola will host a colloquium on the views expressed by Professor Block in the near future." He was evidently serious about that. A day or two afterwards, Roger White, Associate Provost of Loyola University, contacted me to arrange for just such a colloquium. Can anyone imagine Loyola College in Maryland making such arrangements?
True, the Affirmative Action Diversity Task Force of Loyola University New Orleans issued a Statement that could well have been written in Baltimore. But this only underscores all the more Kevin Wildes’ S.J. incisive comment that "There are many members of the university community who disagree with Professor Block." No truer words were ever said. Nevertheless, I insist that even the members of this Task Force outshine their cultural Marxist counterparts in Baltimore. After all, the faculty of Loyola University New Orleans is composed of many professors of the Task Force ilk who are fully cognizant of my views. They nevertheless voted me their prestigious Dux Academicus Award. From what I know of Loyola College in Maryland, it is inconceivable that this could have happened there. Certainly, they have not singled out Tom DiLorenzo, easily their most prestigious professor in term of accomplishments, in any such manner.
Hey, I have an idea. You know how professional sports teams are always trading players? Well, have I got a deal for you! We trade all ten of the members of the Affirmative Action Diversity Task Force of Loyola University New Orleans for just two professors from Loyola College in Maryland: Tom DiLorenzo, and Fr. Hank Hilton, S.J. Here are the members of this Task Force I am proposing to trade away, from New Orleans to Baltimore: Ted Quant, Lydia Voigt, Wing Fok, Lisa Martin, Al Alcazar, James Hobbs, Kurt Bindewald, Artemis Preeshl, Karen Reichard, Anthony Decuir. They may be addressed here: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com ; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com. (Sometimes, humor does not come across accurately in written form; this is particularly true when it is an economist who is trying to be funny. So, for the record, I am not seriously making this proposal.)
IIa. Letter from reader XX (he asked for anonymity) to Block
I’d like to address something you said at your Loyola Lecture and several times since then in email transcripts (which I’ve had the pleasure of reading on LRC). Well, first let me back up and say that I attended the lecture and was one of probably only a few who were not students and not affiliated with Loyola, MD. I read Dr. DiLorenzo’s blog post on LRC and decided to show up.
I found your lecture informative and your arguments well conceived and well presented. While I’m still considering much of what you had to say that day, I am having trouble refuting your argument regarding the wage gap in any meaningful way. So, I applaud you for that. The attacks that you’ve endured have been disappointing because no attacker has made an actual argument against your ideas. I (and many others, I’m sure) would benefit greatly from hearing a legitimate debate on the subject.
I am, however, slightly perturbed by your repeated reference to poetry and literature as "wussy."
Point #1: I really don’t have an argument since your characterization of literature as "wussy" is really just your opinion. And even though I totally disagree with it, I have no issue with you having such an opinion. I realize you made this comment mostly in jest, but I am certain if you would read some examples of great literature (here, here, & here), you would refrain from calling it "wussy." You may not enjoy it or think it worthwhile, but I’m certain you’ll not consider it "wussy." However, I think you and the rest of us are better served if you focus 100% on Economics.
Point #2: This is more important and related to your Loyola lecture. I am somewhat of an expert regarding literature (I have an advanced degree, I teach English at a local community college, I spend many, many hours reading and studying all sorts of fiction). I’ve always thought (privately, of course) that men write the best literature. There are exceptions but by and large the most exceptional writing comes from men. I am unconcerned with Nobel Prizes, National Book Awards, etc., because they are awarded not necessarily to the authors of best books but to the authors who deal with politically correct topics. Awards and such do not legitimize literature or provide a measure of a book’s worth. Literature, it seems to me, is just another example that proves your point regarding outliers and sociobiology. Men tend to write the most exceptional literature.
Anyway, keep up the great work. Many of the things I’ve learned from mises.org and LRC regarding Economics I’ve incorporated into my English lectures. I certainly appreciate all the work you and your fellow scholars have done.
Best Regards, Professor XX
PS — Any plans to return to the television program, “Our Story”?
IIb. Block replies to XX
You are the only person who actually attended this talk of mine who wrote to me about it, hard as that is to believe. As such, I would dearly love to include your letter, along with my response, in a future LRC op-ed. May I have your permission to use your name? If not, I can make this anonymous.
My response. You are right. I was kidding when I said “wussy.” It just shows that economists, or at least I, can’t make good jokes. A colleague of mine warned me about this, but I didn’t follow his advice. I, too, love literature. (My favorite novelists are Ayn Rand and Chaim Potok.) As you said, the problem with Nobel Prizes in Literature (as opposed to chemistry, physics, etc.) as an indication of world-class accomplishment is that they are given out on the basis of political correctness.
I am delighted that you came to my lecture as an open-minded critic, and, at least so far, are having “trouble refuting (my) argument regarding the wage gap in any meaningful way.” It is too bad that many others, mainly administrators and members of the economics department of Loyola College Maryland were not as open-minded. They did not attend this lecture; yet, on the basis of it, they were highly critical. Not, I may add, of the arguments I made and the evidence I put forth, but, merely, because I had the temerity to criticize shibboleths of theirs.
As to your p.s., if they invite me back to “Our Story,” I’ll return, but only reluctantly. So far, though, they have not invited me back. However, it will be an onerous task I will undertake for the cause of promoting liberty and economic understanding; it will not be a joy, as are most of my interviews, speeches, media appearances. I appeared there twice, so far. In my first appearance, I argued that racist employers who pay black employees significantly less than their productivity levels will tend to be out-competed in the market by non racist employers who do not discriminate against black people. In my second appearance, I argued for the legalization of drugs, giving as an important reason the fact that young black men are now murdering each other (and also bystanders) in fights over drug turf at horrendous rates. My efforts on both occasions were responded to by criticisms that I was a “racist” for saying this.
As you know, when in Baltimore, as seemed appropriate, I used Michael Phelps as an example to demonstrate the alternative costs doctrine. I said Phelps was probably not a world-class cellist because he had no time to practice this instrument, given all his time spent in the pool. Well, in another radio interview, I used LeBron James to illustrate this very point. Whereupon I was beset upon by the host of the show, and a bevy of callers, for being a racist for using LeBron James to try to clarify the doctrine of opportunity costs. Promoting liberty and economic understanding is sometimes a hard slog.
III. Block as theologian
The Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius are the spiritual foundation of Jesuit life. Paragraph 22 of the Exercises is a beautiful passage that says the following (emphasis added): “That both the giver and the maker of the Spiritual Exercises may be of greater help and benefit to each other, it should be presupposed that every good Christian ought to be more eager to put a good interpretation on a neighbor’s statement than to condemn it. Further, if one cannot interpret it favorably, one should ask how the other means it. If that meaning is wrong, one should correct the person with love; and if this is not enough, one should search out every appropriate means through which, by understanding the statement in a good way, it may be saved.”
As much as it pains me to correct Fr. Linanne, S.J., president of Loyola College in Maryland, his economics department, and Affirmative Action Diversity Task Force of Loyola University New Orleans on theological grounds, I feel that it is my duty to do so. None of these persons or groups who purport to understand, represent, and most important, be bound by Jesuit teachings, "ask(ed) how the other means it," with regard to my writings and teachings on the subjects under discussion. None of them ever contacted me, asking for explanation or elaboration. All of them criticized me in a manner inconsistent with paragraph 22 of the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius. Even the secular authorities usually hold trials before public condemnation, where both sides of an issue can be heard and explored. Not so this case.
I was tremendously heartened by the outpouring of supportive letters I received in this trial by public opinion. All told, I estimate their number to be above 2000. Unhappily, I couldn’t reply personally to all of them, but I am certainly appreciative.
I was disheartened by what I regard as a stab in the back from Wing Fok, a fellow professor of mine in the Loyola University School of Business.
Prof. Medina made a public accusation against me; yet her attempt to reconcile (she did not apologize) was made privately. The statement of the Affirmative Action Diversity Task Force was made publicly. I was not allowed to address this audience.
Although I sent them this, I never heard back from James Gwartney and Rick Stroup. Nevertheless, I have a suggestion for them regarding a revision of their text; they should add in the following material: "Although it is possible that employer discrimination accounts for the unexplained wage gap after econometric corrections are incorporated, this is unlikely. For considerations of profit and loss continually whittle away at any differences in wages between workers of equal productivity. And, to blithely assume that all unexplained earnings divergences are due to discrimination amounts to sheer intellectual laziness."
I have given this speech on male female wage differences and the glass ceiling, oh, at least half a dozen times. I did so on a few occasions at the Mises University. I presented these findings to my classes, over the years, when I have taught labor economics. Once, I spoke on this topic to the economics club at Loyola University New Orleans. The reaction I received was the same everywhere: polite interest, some requests for elaboration, some criticism, but always the proceedings were entirely civil. It was the same at Loyola College in Maryland. The only difference was the aftermath, with Fr. Linnane’s S.J. message, that horrid letter signed by, supposedly, the "economics department" there, and the statement from my own colleagues at the Affirmative Action Diversity Task Force of Loyola University New Orleans.
The results of these sorts of actions boomeranged on these people. Presumably, their goal was to reduce the coverage of politically incorrect economic analysis. It had the exact opposite effect, as can be seen by the listings in the second paragraph, above.
What lessons have I learned from all of this? First, do not be outspoken on a university campus, unless you have tenure, as I do. It is very risky to do so otherwise. Second, I was impressed even the more with the wisdom of this saying of Murray Rothbard’s: “It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a ‘dismal science.’ But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance.” Third, the importance of Mises’ motto was even more strongly impressed upon me: "Do not give in to evil, but proceed ever more boldly against it."
Dr. Block [send him mail] is a professor of economics at Loyola University New Orleans, and a senior fellow of the Ludwig von Mises Institute. He is the author of Defending the Undefendable and the newly released Labor Economics From A Free Market Perspective.