Phillip W. Magness

U.S. Economic & Political History

The Myth of the Minimum Wage Adjunct

| April 29, 2015

The plight of beleaguered adjunct professors is back in the news, following a national “adjunct walk-out day” event last month and extensive discussions ever since. At issue is the pay level of adjunct professors, or contract university faculty who get paid per course taught. In addition to substantially lower compensation levels, adjuncts generally lack the […]

Misrepresenting the Austrian “revival”

| April 22, 2015

Janek Wasserman has an article up at HNN, purporting to correct what he portrays as a “dogmatic” appropriation of the historical Austrian school of economic thought by American libertarians, free-marketeers, and business interests since the mid 20th century. Steve Horwitz has written a thorough retort of Wasserman’s argument, taking him to task for neglecting to do even a […]

Lincoln and the case for Ben Butler’s Colonization Story

| April 16, 2015

150 years ago this week an unusual discussion took place at the White House. On a mid-April morning Maj. Gen. Benjamin F. Butler met with Abraham Lincoln to discuss what Butler later recounted as a proposal to resettle several thousand freed slaves on the Isthmus of Panama. It would prove to be their final encounter, as Lincoln […]

How to manufacture rising inequality, Piketty-style

| April 7, 2015

Since quite a few of Thomas Piketty’s followers are still convinced that he has empirically demonstrated a rise in wealth inequality in the past 30 years, I put together the following breakdown which illustrates how he constructed the famous “U-shape” in his Figure 10.5. As may be readily seen, neither the Kopczuk-Saez (2004) series nor of the […]