Janus: What is all this fuss Abood?

On June 27, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court, by a vote of 5-4, ruled in Janus that a provision of the Illinois Public Labor Relations Act  which allowed public employee Unions to negotiate "fair share fees" violated the First Amendment rights and the right to free Association of public employees (see also Ohio Revised Code 4117 ). … Continue reading Janus: What is all this fuss Abood?

The Greatest Trick of the Devil

In a recent Article in American Affairs, economist Phillip Mirowski presents an interesting and cogent argument that Neo-liberalism is a well organized, well funded, and quasi-coherent vision of political economy. He argues for the existence of what he terms a Neo-liberal Thought Collective (NTC) which only partially overlaps with Neo-Classical Economics.  In Mirowski's view, the … Continue reading The Greatest Trick of the Devil

Are some ideas not worth debating?

In an article in  the AAUP's Journal of Academic Freedom, noted historian Joan Wallach Scott draws a distinction between the protections afforded by Academic Freedom and the First Amendment. The distinction is an important one: the claim to protection for academic freedom  rests on a claim to expertise in one's discipline. In contrast, the First Amendment … Continue reading Are some ideas not worth debating?

Economic History and Inquiry

I'm still thinking through the issues related to my last blog post and my research project, today's post will be rather short. Since I have some free time this week, I decided to do a little browsing and came across these two interesting articles on Economic History and Historical methods written by economists. The Historian's … Continue reading Economic History and Inquiry

In Defense of a Modest Scientism

Not surprisingly, Steven Pinker's new book, Enlightenment Now , has already generated significant controversy.  Since I haven't read the book yet, I won't comment on the book itself. Suffice it to say, it does seem that Pinker's critics (see for example here and here ) are raising some valid points in arguing that Pinker has oversimplified … Continue reading In Defense of a Modest Scientism