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Tuesday, April 19, 2005

In the Mail

I received my daily article from It is entitled "Is Austrian Economics Merely Religion?."

Here is the first couple of paragraphs:
In his latest column, Paul Krugman demonstrates more than anything that the emperor has no clothes. After correctly identifying the veracity of a recent study that said Democrats vastly outnumber Republicans on college and university faculties, Krugman then attempts to explain why that situation is the case. He starts off well, then veers into Neverland, and even lays his most dreaded attack on Austrian Economics, indirectly likening it to a religion.

His first reason, an appeal to self-selection, has merit. Krugman writes:
One answer is self-selection — the same sort of self-selection that leads Republicans to outnumber Democrats four to one in the military. The sort of person who prefers an academic career to the private sector is likely to be somewhat more liberal than average, even in engineering.

I suspect he is right, or at least partly right. Many Republicans I know do not have the characteristics that would serve them well in academe — which is no insult, believe me. It simply is a fact that people who might have the personal proclivities to be liberal Democrats also are people who might thrive in the ivory tower atmosphere that is as much about politics as it is academic inquiry. (I'll leave aside his strange assumption that the academia and the "private sector" are opposites by definition.)

Had Krugman stopped there, I would have applauded his answer and read another column. Unfortunately, he was just getting warmed up.

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