Phillip W. Magness

Historian – 19th century United States

Inequality studies before Piketty

| December 31, 2015

Whether one agrees with its findings or not, Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century has had a profound impact on the study of inequality in the United States. Partisans of the work hastily embraced his suspect empirics as confirmation of exploding inequality, and this endorsement has largely filtered into the political discourse where it is […]

Fed economists attempt to piketty their own U.S. inequality data

| December 26, 2015

Earlier this month the St. Louis Federal Reserve published a new briefing paper by economists William R. Emmons and Lowell B. Ricketts, in which they claimed to find recent evidence of the growing inequality trends predicted in Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century. As asserted in the Fed paper: “Data from the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances […]

Dear AAUP & Media: Non-Tenure Track does not equal Adjunct

| December 8, 2015

One of the most pervasive and pernicious myths of the adjunct activist movement is the claim that somewhere in the neighborhood of 75% of current university faculty are adjuncts. This figure derives from the frequently hapless, though sometimes intentional, conflation of terminology. Yet another example of this happened today in the Christian Science Monitor, which cited […]

On Global Warming and Tainted Research

| December 2, 2015

Suppose you produce research that promotes global warming alarmism, and a regulatory tax scheme aimed at curtailing carbon emissions. Also suppose that your study is financed by somebody who has a large fortune in solar panels, wind, and other alternative energy companies that compete with fossil fuels, which will rake in billions when the taxes and regulations […]

Is “Climate Denialism” even a problem?

| December 1, 2015

In light of the recent Paris climate change summit, a number of representatives of the political class have set their sights upon what they deem “climate denialism.” The term is frequently used as a pejorative to dismiss persons who are skeptical of the many proposed political responses to global warming, but in its most narrow […]