A Reluctant Professor

Working in Academia

From: Walter Block <[email protected]>

Sent: Sunday, April 03, 2022 6:50 PM

Subject: RE: Dear Walter

Dear Mark:

At 60, you’re still a baby. (I’m 80).

What’s this crap about “the mandatory nonsense I would be required to use.”

In my intro course, I teach from this textbook: Mankiw, N. Gregory. Principles of Microeconomics. South-Western, Cengage sixth seventh edition, and I’ll be using that. However, any year, any edition of this book is a reasonable substitute. Isbn 9781285165905

And use this as an extra reading

Hazlitt, Henry. Economics in One Lesson. ISBN – 9780517548233

The first one third of Mankiw is very good. I give it an A-. Good stuff on free trade, min wage, rent control, etc.  The second third is crap. All about market failure. So, I present that stuff, sympathetically, and then say why its wrong. On an exam, I ask students to give both sides. The Hazlitt book of course is very good.

What’s so stultifying about that? I enjoy doing this.

You could do this too. I suggest you apply both to U Vic for a part time job as a lecturer and also to the local 2 year colleges for a full time job. You can do good in this way and have a good career. Are you limited to the Vic area? If you can locate anywhere in Canada that would open up things for you.

Best regards,


I debated my friend, the late Gary North, on this very subject:

Block, Walter E. 2008. “Attention Students: Should You Get Your Ph.D. and Become a Professor?” June 28; (debate with Gary North);

Subject: RE: Dear Walter

Dear Walter,

Yes I have an MA. Years ago I did a bit of teaching (short term contract – “fill in/substitute”) at xyz. I’m 60 now and not that interested in teaching first year students according to the mandatory nonsense I would be required to use.  I honestly don’t know how you manage it – especially today.  On the other hand, I would love to teach some young students curious about or interested in the Austrian School.

Kind regards,


3:01 am on April 8, 2022

Political Theatre

LRC Blog

LRC Podcasts