Advice for Studies in Graduate School; and Undergraduate Too!

From: S
Sent: Friday, December 15, 2017 7:09 AM
To: Walter Block
Subject: Re: Macquarie University Offer of Candidature and Scholarship – 45043175 Sabhlok, Sukrit – PHD;LAW – Session 1 2018
Thanks Walter. I just want to confirm that your advice is to accept an offer from the highest ranked university. Therefore, if a higher ranked university gives me I should immediately withdraw from Macquarie (top 200 in world) and accept Queensland (top 50 in world)? (of course, if Cambridge accepts me (top 10 in world?), it is a no-brainer that I should drop everything and move). I am just asking now because a lot of my future plans will depend on the flexibility to pack up and move at a moment’s notice to a higher ranked university, so I wanted to get your take. Or do you think that choice of supervisor is more important? That is, which supervisor is more libertarian and therefore more likely to support my overall career after graduating rather than just helping me with the PhD? Regards S

Dear S: That’s a tough question. I really don’t have an answer to it. It’s like saying, this friend is more interesting, but that one is nicer. Each demands that I give up the other. What should I do (apart from giving up on both of these idiots)? It really depends upon the specifics. Just how interresting. Just how nice. And, upon your tastes. Yes, good superivsors help not only in getting you that phd degree, but, also, with your (at least) first job. But the prestige of the university is also important for the latter goal. I wish I could be of more help to you. But, as I say, that’s a tough question. A much easier question (when a professor can’t answer a question, a good one poses a different one, even vaguely related, that he can answer) is: Which is more important not for grad school, but for an undergraduate education, prestige or support of a professor. And here the answer, at least in my mind, is clear: kudos to the latter, not the former. Take my (admittedly anecdotal) case. My undergraduate degree was from Brooklyn College, a not very prestigious institution. And, I had mediocre marks (2.7 out of 4.0). Yet, I had good teachers, very supportive (Martin Lean, John Hospers), and with their help I was able to get into Columbia University, a much more prestigious institution. I think that as a general rule, prestige is much more important the higher you go up in the educational heirarchy. Who even cares if someone went to a prestigious high school???!!! Which brings me, ahem, to my own efforts to encourage Austro-libertarian students who want a good undergraduate education to come study with me and my free enterprise colleagues at Loyola University (New Orleans is Party City: we’re now celebrating Mardi Gras). For more support of this contention of mine:

If it moves, privatize it; if it doesn’t move, privatize it. Since everything either moves or doesn’t move, privatize everything.

“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.” Murray N. Rothbard

“Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders; no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way out for himself if society is sweeping toward destruction. Therefore, everyone, in his own interests, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle. None can stand aside with unconcern; the interest of everyone hangs on the result. Whether he chooses or not, every man is drawn into the great historical struggle, the decisive battle into which our epoch has plunged us.” Ludwig von Mises

Block, Walter E. 2017. “C’mon Down To New Orleans; The Water’s Fine. Enroll at Loyola University.” June 27;

C’mon Down To New Orleans; The Water’s Fine. Enroll at Loyola University

Loyola Economics Students Published Widely in Refereed Journals;

Block, Walter. 2017. “The Best Place to Study Undergraduate Economics.” June 30;

Wenzel, Robert. 2017. Interview with Walter E. Block. “The Inside Scoop on Studying Economics at Loyola University-New Orleans” September 3;

Top Ten Contemporary Academics Helping The Political Right (#8)

100 Most Influential Libertarians: A Newsmax/FreedomFest List (#46)


12:23 pm on February 5, 2018