Phillip W. Magness

U.S. Economic & Political History

On libertarians and faute de mieux Unionism

| July 22, 2015

Last week, I penned a brief op-ed for FEE and Newsweek on two historically problematic approaches to the American Civil War that are common among libertarians. The article was a condensed version of a lecture I gave at the IEA in 2013 on the same subject. The bulk of the commentary thus far on the […]

“No Irish Need Apply” & Bad History

| July 21, 2015

For more than a decade, University of Illinois-Chicago Professor Richard Jensen has been peddling a very strange historical thesis with a surprising amount of success in academic journals. Jensen argues that the “No Irish Need Apply” slogan – the infamous discriminatory display against Irish immigrants to the United States in the 19th century – is largely […]

Hamilton & Slavery, Part II

| July 10, 2015

In a previous post I criticized a number of Alexander Hamilton’s modern biographers for attempting to reinvent him as an “abolitionist,” or at least a staunch and principled antislavery man. The evidence for this claim is exceedingly weak, although Hamilton, who handled numerous financial transactions involving the sale and purchase of slaves for his wife’s extended […]

Adjunct Pay & the Labor Theory of Value: a thought experiment

| July 2, 2015

One of the most common complaints from the adjuncting world essentially boils down to the Labor Theory of Value (LTOV), i.e. beleaguered adjuncts complain that they are not paid for the out-of-classroom obligations of their jobs such as preparing lectures, grading papers, answering student emails, and even commuting to work. If these tasks were included […]