Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Academic tendencies.

"Academic bias" is another right-wing "When did you stop beating your wife" term. Using the term, even in defense, just repeats and ingrains the accusation.

Is there an academic tendency towards liberalism? Very likely, and for the same reason there is a tendency towards liberalism amongst mothers. Both are charged with a non-profit-making task, the development of children into responsible, educated, more independent adults. Both understand that they need to get the resources for this task from others without shackling the children into servitude in exchange. That means redistribution, bane of conservatives.

Some people have noticed that economics has the most conservative academics of all. Small wonder: economics departments have been the special recipients of conservative-funded welfare for long periods of time. The U. of Chicago and George Mason University famously have capitalist-funded economics departments, and the financial industry is a notorious funder of economics research. There is nothing comparable on the liberal side. There is a huge feeder system for conservative economics, with vast amounts of public propaganda promoting "free markets", chambers of commerce, innumerable think-tanks, and outreach programs to exceptional students that is unparalleled by moderates or liberals.

15 comments:

Joanna Liberation said...

Maybe we should at least ask children if they already have a mother before we jam tax-funded liberal bias down their throats? Note that no mother is forced to pay U of Chicago or George Mason University academics, but we all have to pay for liberal propaganda in tax-funded state universities.

Mark Plus said...

Few apparently notice the irony that Austrian economists can't get real jobs in the competitive market for economics professors, so they have to become shills for, and clients of, wealthy patrons. Ad man Lawrence Fertig, for example, bribed New York University to give Ludwig von Mises an office, and then paid Mises a salary out of his own account to sit at a desk and pretend that Mises held a position there as a "visiting professor." The Koch brothers apparently support Austrian economists in a similar fashion now.

If Mises had to make a living according to market discipline, like most immigrants to the U.S. at the time he probably would have had to get a job in the garment trade or something.

Ayn Rand's career as an immigrant to the U.S. makes for an interesting contrast. While Rand received some help from relatives and had a few lucky breaks in the U.S. (which she never properly acknowledged), she made most of her money by selling her intellectual property in a competitive market. Austrian economists, by contrast, have to give their literature away, like Jehovah's Witnesses, because so few people want to buy it.

Mike Huben said...

Joanna, in case you didn't notice, the liberal tendency among educators is there whether or not it is tax funded.

But you're just hating because the rest of the world doesn't agree with your whacko ideology..

And we must note that mothers and everybody else pay indirectly for UofC and GMU because the wealthy who fund them are notorious rent-seekers, continually getting government to give them enormous, valuable benefits that ought more properly to go to everybody. Consider the Kochs, for example, whose extractive industries get enormous benefits in free natural resources and tax breaks that regular people don't get.

Joanna Liberation said...

Mike, cool, let's end Kochs' tax breaks and tax funded education.

Joanna Liberation said...

Mark, you have it completely backwards, a shill of wealthy patron is actually the "real" job ie where salaries are paid according to voluntary, mutually beneficial job contract. Tax funded economics professor positions are as "real" as those of shills of Mafia patrons.

Kevin said...

"let's end ...tax funded education"

Clearly the agenda of someone who want's to dumb down generations of people and plunder & pillage like the Robber Baron's they are.

Joanna Liberation said...

Kevin, do you know who, according to your own views, currently dumbs down future generations most? Urban public school teachers, who are about twice as likely to send their kids to a private school than the national average: http://www.heartland.org/policybot/results/15818

Mike says they can't afford to buy houses in rich suburbs (where, ironically, the taxes the poor pay actually benefit someone, ie the rich), which is doubtful as they can clearly afford hefty private school tuition on top of their taxes (which, again, subsidize good education in rich suburbs) no problem.

I mean, look around you, robber baron fairy tales should not squeeze out rational thinking.

Kevin Wayne said...

Wow, your reply is so full of presuppositions and caricatures, it's hard to know where to begin!

That wasn't what I got out of what Mike said. Here's my take, Mike can clarify himself if this is or isn't inaccurate:

*If there's a lot of "White Flight" from the inner cities, that increases the tax burden for those who are left.

*As a result, cutbacks can result in Public facilities, one of which is Schools.

*This could further result in the level of Education itself becoming more anemic.

*Plus the compounded social stigma of Urban Decay on multiple levels.

*So therefore- their choice is obvious- send them to private schools where those problems aren't as likely to manifest themselves.

Then you make this assumption:

"Mike says they can't afford to buy houses in rich suburbs (where, ironically, the taxes the poor pay actually benefit someone, ie the rich), which is doubtful as they can clearly afford hefty private school tuition on top of their taxes (which, again, subsidize good education in rich suburbs) no problem."

DUH! They are paying taxes + private school tuition, and therefore, can't swing it in the 'burbs!

Can you really be so dense as miss the possibility that if they could afford to go to those Rich Suburbs, they would? What motivation could they possibly have for staying in the City, when it's obvious what they are doing is 1st & foremost in the interest of their Children?

And speaking of which... have you ever been to those schools? Many of them are hotbeds of narrow-minded Right-wing Christian Republicans (and I'm a Christian and I say this!) I tried 2 different ones when I was in HS, and I'm pretty much glad to have gotten back to graduate with a REAL education!

I remember one of them had me starting to read Booker T. Washington's Bio. I guess that's a Conservative approved "Black Hero" for some reason (or so I would later discover.)

In my case, we are comparing small town Public Schools to Small Town Private Schools, so it's a completely different ball of wax. But there's nothing that makes Private Sector education so inherently wonderful, or I would have had a different experience.

And just where do you get the notion of "liberal propaganda in tax-funded state universities?" The Technical College in my hometown was VERY conservative. The Community College where I got my AA was a good mixture of Liberal and Conservative and had a strong presence of Church-sponsored clubs & activities. Conversely, the Private University I got my BA from - VERY Liberal or at least so by comparison.

You might want to take your own advice and "take a look around you."

For example:

http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Unmaking+the+Public+University%3a+The+Forty-Year+Assault+on+the+Middle+...-a0210918976

Assumption built on assumption built on assumption. That's all you have!

Joanna Liberation said...

What motivation could they possibly have for staying in the City?

Well, by definition of this statistic, they already have a job at an urban public school, don't they... Is your question why there exist urban school teachers at all? That's a good question ;) As usual, it's public sector squeezing out private one.

Many of them are hotbeds of narrow-minded Right-wing Christian Republicans

No wonder, public sector's liberal bias squeezing out private one again. If there were no public schools, we'd simply have way more liberal private schools. Cool, huh? But then again, as a libertarian, I'm sort of part liberal too, at least as far as moral freedoms are concerned. This is where again state aggression limits our choices, because of the squeezing, we are often left having to choose between two evils, narrow minded right wing or socialist left wing, same as in politics.

there's nothing that makes Private Sector education so inherently wonderful

I'm not saying private is paradise, only the simple fact that urban private schools are better than public ones, proved by real world choices of the very people who know best.

And just where do you get the notion of "liberal propaganda in tax-funded state universities?"

Well, I'm not from US, but also in my country I know for a fact there are exceptions, ie strong free market economics departments at state universities and strong keynesian ones at private universities, just like you describe. Yet, the general tendency is clear, as Mike describes in this very post: "Is there an academic tendency towards liberalism? Very likely, and for the same reason there is a tendency towards liberalism amongst mothers." That nicely correlates with 70% of all undergraduate students attending public institutions.

Kevin Wayne said...

"Well, by definition of this statistic, they already have a job at an urban public school, don't they... Is your question why there exist urban school teachers at all? That's a good question ;) As usual, it's public sector squeezing out private one."

Did you purposefully flip-flop your entire line of thinking because you thought no one would notice, or are you that stupid?

You just got done saying Private Schools are getting the students of public school teachers, therefore Public School can't be squeezing them out. And you've ignored the "white flight factor" as a possible partial explanation. Mike and myself both mentioned it, but you would prefer to not consider that and just spout your canard. I also added other problems unique to Urban Settings. Woosh! Over your head they went.

If there were no public schools, we'd simply have way more liberal private schools.

Pure speculation.

This is where again state aggression limits our choices, because of the squeezing, we are often left having to choose between two evils, narrow minded right wing or socialist left wing, same as in politics.

No, state aggression does nothing to your choices. You can opt out now just the same as anywhere. Homeschooling is allowed for all. Fortunately, there's mandated standards set for those too, or homeschoolers would be graduating a bunch of blithering idiots.

And the Elephant in the room is this: Quality of education my have nothing to do with why Mr & Mrs. Jones decides to pull Johnny out of Public School and into Church -run schools. It's just their belief system is being trampled on.

Continued

Kevin Wayne said...

I'm not saying private is paradise, only the simple fact that urban private schools are better than public ones, proved by real world choices of the very people who know best.

Once again, you've ignored the basic elements of the thing itself, preferring to try and turn it into a talking point rather than something you look deeper into to understand. Everything you have been talking about was Inner-city specific. But regarding Rural, Suburban and Small-town schools, in terms of public vs. private? It's never mentioned. I can't even think of one example where I grew up of a Public School teacher in small towns sending their kids to Church of Our Lady of the Red Neck High School. Why, when they can get it for free?

Catholic churches also target poor urban areas, and there sometimes vouchers available depending on the politics of the area. But those exist in a world where people have choices between public and private, and in either case Public Boards of Ed still may still have a say in approval. Your assumption that the Urban School teacher is paying out the nose for private tutition may not have any real support. Sometimes the cost of Private Ed is underwritten by hook or by crook.

Unless what you present looks at Urban-specific factors, and compares them to other geographic areas where the dynamics are different, you are simply spouting hot air. And very dishoneslty so, at that.

Well, I'm not from US,

But you don't mind commenting on research done in it for proapganda's sake, do you?

but also in my country I know for a fact there are exceptions, ie strong free market economics departments at state universities and strong keynesian ones at private universities, just like you describe. Yet, the general tendency is clear, as Mike describes in this very post: "Is there an academic tendency towards liberalism? Very likely, and for the same reason there is a tendency towards liberalism amongst mothers."

That's nice. Mike is just here speculating the reasons for things in order to make an argument on the fly. Just like you are.

That nicely correlates with 70% of all undergraduate students attending public institutions.

There is no necissated connection between the two, except in your head. I could just as easily take that stat and say that 70% proves Public Ed is more popular overall, and is so because it's better. In fact, that's a whole lot more reasonable conclusion than the one you insist on forcing out of the problem of Urban Schools.

Joanna Liberation said...

Kevin,

You just got done saying Private Schools are getting the students of public school teachers, therefore Public School can't be squeezing them out

I happened to mean that public shools are squeezing out private schools as employment opportunities for teachers. But then sure it also applies to students. Otherwise you'd have to argue that current public school students would end up with no education if parents were not taxed to fund public schools. Some may well do, but then for an urban ghetto public schools, what's the difference really, they learn nothing there anyway.

you've ignored the "white flight factor" as a possible partial explanation

Let me use the liberal tactic and call this a "racist" explanation ;)

Pure speculation.

Pure economics basics.

You can opt out now just the same as anywhere.

Happy to hear that, I envy your school choice vouchers, not like in my home country, we are unfortunatelly way more "progressive" (so also way poorer).

Kevin said...

I happened to mean that public schools are squeezing out private schools as employment opportunities for teachers.

Wow, then they must be by and large better paying organizations, eh? :)

Some may well do, but then for an urban ghetto public schools, what's the difference really, they learn nothing there anyway.

Let's put the blame where it belongs: Post-Reagan Era (and beyond) Cutback mentality, depleting schools of good funding that can keep any Public Institution firing on all cylinders:

http://www.newfoundations.com/Clabaugh/CuttingEdge/Reagan.html

http://www.catalyst-chicago.org/notebook/index.php/entry/903/In_the_News%3A_ISBE_holds_final_public_hearing%3B_parents_next_in_school_blame%2C_educator_warns

http://www.urbanlegendnews.org/news/2010/04/11/budget-cuts-to-san-francisco-schools-hurt-public-school-students/

Let me use the liberal tactic and call this a "racist" explanation ;)

Let me call this a cute little quip from someone who can't actually deal with the issue, and prefers to post up a Dodge rather than defend her central thesis. ;-)

Oh, and "White Flight" happens to be a very real phenomenon:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_flight

Kevin said...

Pure economics basics.

No, pure speculation pulled out of your rear. In truth, Private Schooling tends to fall along a lot of demographic lines and serve specific categories of children, rather than all of them. This is called "Freedom of Association," which is fine, but it is by nature a very "Conservative" viewpoint, and very much used by Conservative/Libertarian groups. Thus you have wealthy individuals like Madonna allegedly wanting to start an Academy for kids based on the Kaballah Religion. But edcuation based on *any* Religious affiliation is Conservative in that you are trying to protect and preserve Sectarian identity, regardless of how "Liberal" your Religion may be. Good thing? Bad thing? Maybe or maybe not, but you cannot deny that for better or worse, the drift would be against exposing youth to the broadest range of cultures possible. Right now the Amish are allowed to opt out of the Public School system. How Liberal are they? Muslims are allowed to do the same thing. How liberal are they?

I might also add: these are very highly Collectivist groups in nature. The result could even be that so-called "liberals" might be pulled in a more "Conservative" direction, based on the principle of cultural identification and shunning outsiders.

Thus we see the inherent weakness in trying to use economics as an explanation for anything! You are so far speaking of things you know nothing of, and so far your entire defense has been a link to Heartland. More on that in a bit.

Happy to hear that, I envy your school choice vouchers, not like in my home country.

Any Collectivist understands that coming at a Social concern from many different angles is always best. Everyone picthes in to make things work. And countries such as Finland which are Kicking the USA's arse in Education have some measure of school choice (or so I was told by a LIbertarian, so I take with with a grain of salt ;-) In any case, it's all made much more workable by the fact that their students and teachers receive Government Funded Health Care. Want a job in Private ed? Great, you won't gain or lose health benefits either way. Same with wherever you choose to educate your kids. I also have been told by a Canadian Friend that Alberta, Canada is another place who's numbers are up there in Education. Every child is equally funded, and of course, they have the Single-payer health insurance system. And that's probably the most Conservative place in all of Canada (politically even more so than the US!)

Oh, and I was going to get to you citing Heartland. As we discussed before, Cato, Mises and other so-called Libertarian thoughtless-tanks are definitely in bed with Neocon and Corporate Interests. Do watch this video to the end:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_cEpN1Srs4&feature=related

Another Libertariancaught red-handed doing the bidding of her Coporate Robber-Baron Masters! ;-)

Kevin said...

1st post: Don't know why my Urbanlegendnews.com link doesn't work. I guess just copy/paste into a browser.