Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Tuesday is Krugman Spaghetti Day

Last week, a new study revealed that a commanding majority of professors are liberal (75%, vs. 15% who identify as conservative), and the study's author, Stanley Rothman, suggested that a liberal bias in hiring might be involved. However, it's not just poli sci—even faculty in the hard sciences are more likely to be liberal.

Paul Krugman suggests that there are two reasons. First, self-selection: people who gravitate to academia are more likely to be liberal, while more conservatives opt for the private sector. The bigger reason, though, is the difference in what liberals and conservatives value most, Krugman writes:

"...There's also, crucially, a values issue. In the 1970's, even Democrats like Daniel Patrick Moynihan conceded that the Republican Party was the 'party of ideas.' Today, even Republicans like Representative Chris Shays concede that it has become the 'party of theocracy.'"

A Florida legislator has sponsored a bill that would allow students to sue their professors for disrespecting their conservative views—such as when the biology professor presents evolution as, well, scientific fact.

Krugman continues, "...today's Republican Party—increasingly dominated by people who believe truth should be determined by revelation, not research—doesn't respect science, or scholarship in general. It shouldn't be surprising that scholars have returned the favor by losing respect for the Republican Party."

Once again, liberal economics professor Krugman makes perfect sense to me. But then, I value scientific inquiry a lot more than right-wing interpretations of the bible, so that must be my liberal bias popping up.

9 comments:

gutshot said...

My definition of conservative always relied upon a belief that an overactive government corrupts. Or, to rephrase slightly, I believe we are taxed too much compared to the value we receive back from it. Though I am a Christian, I also realize that legislating religion isn't an option, nor should it be. As far as scholars losing respect for Republicans, it really doesn't matter. They are as much ideologues as Republicans. Their ideology is based in a lack of moral code. Anything goes in a liberal society, why punish people? That is, unless they try to arm themselves or think for themselves.

Why does it not surprise me that an economics professor is spewing about something other than economics?

Stella said...

Blech. This is part of why making education exclusively a private endeavor would be a good thing. Students who want to study under religious pseudoscientists can do so (and see where their degree gets them), and those who revere truth over faith can study in institutions that support that idea.

Callous as this may sound, no one has a "right" to a respectful classroom environment. One does, however, have the right to look for a new school if a good learning environment isn't being provided.

Oh, and re: your comments on my puzzle, HA! I drink maybe once a month and only go to bars when dragged by my thumbs. And I'm not even going there with the S&M ;-)

Orange said...

Now, Earl. Krugman was hired by the Times to write a column that expresses his opinions. He was not hired to discuss economic and economics alone.

As for your belief that liberal ideology eschews any "moral code"—hah! Is concern for the downtrodden immoral? Is objection to trumped-up wars immoral?

As for "anything goes, why punish people" that's true of the conservative political arena. What decision-makers have been punished or even held remotely accountable for the Abu Ghraib abuses? Or for the intelligence abuses that led the nation to war?

gutshot said...

I believe in helping the downtrodden, which does not mean handing them a check without question and allowing them to become wards of the state.

To be brief, I don't believe that George Bush was lying to us. Many other countries agreed with our Iraq assessment. If he was lying, that's immoral, but I don't believe he was.

As for the intelligence community, they get a) lambasted over missing the signs of 9/11 (underestimating a lead), then b) lambasted for concluding that Iraq had WMDs or capabilities (overestimating a lot of leads). I'm not sure I would want the job of deciding what's a real threat, and what's simply noise on the intelligence channel.

And finally, I don't consider the two things you listed to be extremely moral. Just because you play the lottery doesn't mean you want to help seniors. That applies to both of your examples.

Charlie said...

I believe in helping the downtrodden, which does not mean handing them a check without question and allowing them to become wards of the state.

Glad to hear it, because that isn't what we do.

To be brief, I don't believe that George Bush was lying to us. Many other countries agreed with our Iraq assessment. If he was lying, that's immoral, but I don't believe he was.

A troll! A troll! Orange, you have your first troll. Before me, even. I'm jealous.

Gut, what would it take to convince you that W was lying? Could you be convinced?

gutshot said...

Gut, what would it take to convince you that W was lying?

Perhaps a soiled blue dress.

Orange said...

I hate to react to trollery, but you're still obsessing about that blue dress? (Jealous?) It's such a shame that over 1,500 American servicemen had to sacrifice their lives because of President Clinton's deception. Oh, wait...

gutshot said...

Orange...I apologize, I had posted that one-liner before I read your request for a stop to the potshots. I respect your wishes to keep your blog free from further partisan bickering.

Hang in there...

The Un-Apologetic Atheist said...

I wonder how making a quip about "a blue dress" qualifies as partisan bickering. Partisan bickering is when one side says "this is our idea for drilling in the ANWR and the benefits we will get from that" and the other side says "but drilling in the ANWR doesn't give us more than a drop in the bucket and isn't worth the precedents in environmental law that will be set." What you just did with your one-liner was nothing more than a third-grade "I'm rubber, you're glue" argument... the Ann Coulter classic.

Here's a clue for you about people who don't have their heads shoved all the way up their butts: We don't care who Bill Clinton slept with! Just like you don't care that Bush practically admitted to doing almost every known class of drugs in the past (though in fairness he didn't want others to repeat his mistakes-- we wouldn't want EVERYONE to do drugs, they might all become President!)

Now get over it and deal with the fact that Bush was shown to have lied, by taking the set of facts he wanted to be true and reporting them, rather than passing along that we simply didn't know enough to warrant the statements we made about Iraq and WMDs. This has been released in recent reports like this one and of course others.

I find it disturbing (but probably not as much as men like Senator McCain) that being Republican/Conservative no longer means trying for a more effective, efficient government; and instead has come to mean "support the military-industrial complex at all costs, while slicing our social and domestic programs by blaming them for our high taxes", even though our spending on military has always been more than all our other programs combined. I know Gutshot promised not to troll here, but such inane straw-man statements about liberalism really get me fired up.