Phi Beta Cons

Tangentially Related to the University of Illinois Dispute

I try to keep my higher-ed blogging separate from my pro-minimal state blogging, but sometimes they come together, even if rather tangentially.
In the fight the faculty is waging against the proposed creation of a Hoover Institution sort of entity at the University of Illinois, a reference was made to the alleged hostility that the backers of the entity have toward the idea that high-tax, welfare state countries like Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland actually perform better economically than relatively low-tax, low-welfare countries like the United States.
What they’re talking about is a recent paper by Harvard’s Jeffrey Sachs making that contention. The left is treating it as a slam dunk in the face of anyone who continues to hold to antiquated Adam Smithian views favoring limited government.
It’s no slam dunk. Writing in the October issue of The Freeman, professor Sudha Shenoy takes Sachs apart, showing that this is another of those cases where statistics can be extremely deceptive.

George Leef is the the director of editorial content at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.


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