Phillip W. Magness

U.S. Economic & Political History

Do Adjuncts and Full Time Faculty have similar work loads?

| March 28, 2016

Historically, adjunct faculty positions emerged as a part time job. The most common example of this practice was designed to allow working professionals to take on a class or two in a university setting. Students benefited from moonlighting instructors who were also practitioners with experience in relevant fields, or perhaps even faculty from different departments or […]

Arguing Adjunct Justice, Part II

| March 26, 2016

The fun continues with the adjunct activist crowd in the wake of my Journal of Business Ethics article with Jason Brennan (who has an interesting challenge up for all the “social justice” claimants on the other side of the issue). Unfortunately, most of the comments we’ve received continue to display little evidence of actually reading […]

Is Administrator Bloat an Adjunct Pot of Gold?

| March 24, 2016

“What about university administrator bloat?” This question is commonly posed in conjunction with the adjunct activist movement, and usually identified as an “obvious” source for funding that could be reallocated to other purposes. And it might well be suitable for reallocation, though as Jason Brennan and I showed it is not obvious that adjuncts deserve […]

An actual reader, but an underwhelming one

| March 24, 2016

A couple of people have sent me links to something called the “Philosophy Smoker,” which blogged a response to our adjunct article. I’ll give them the credit that they at least read the article before commenting on it, which is no small accomplishment given the scholarly mean of the madjunct world. That said, I found […]

Arguing Adjunct Justice

| March 21, 2016

My article with Jason Brennan on “Estimating the Cost of Justice for Adjuncts” caused a bit of a stir over the weekend after it was featured in several news stories. Many of the issues we raise are starting to be realized as universities grapple with the adjunct issue in earnest and a number of the more […]

New evidence is undermining the ‘Inequality Scare’

| March 16, 2016

Almost two years have passed since the publication of Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century, and the larger genre of economic research on the distribution of wealth has exploded since that time with complementary arguments being advanced by economists Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman, as well as economic popularizes on the left including Paul Krugman and […]

A challenge for libertarian “welfare state” policy swappers

| March 9, 2016

Policy swaps seem to be all the rage these days among some self-described libertarians. The premise is simple: recognizing that political libertarianism isn’t exactly thriving at the moment, they propose a policy “swap” in which they signal a willingness to forego a hardline libertarian position in some issue areas in exchange for promised gains in other […]