Phillip W. Magness

Historian – 19th century United States

On Madjunct Activists and Article Paywalls

| September 21, 2016

Jason Brennan and I recently published an article investigating the common claim that adjuncts are “exploited.” We use a combination of empirical evidence and ethical investigation into the use of this term, and conclude that the claim does not withstand scrutiny. The article was published in the Journal of Business Ethics and is now available on […]

On New Dealer Climate Policy

| September 12, 2016

Let’s consider a thought experiment. Suppose a second Great Depression happened, and the evidence of its harm was overwhelming. Unemployment shot up to 24% and GDP dropped by almost 30%. By every sense of the imagination, the economic collapse was catastrophic. Now suppose you are confronted with the following argument: “People are suffering, so we simply have […]

Are the humanities being squeezed out of academia? The evidence says otherwise

| September 11, 2016

One of the most common narratives of the higher education literature is the claimed decline of the humanities. We are constantly told that the humanities are “under assault” in an academy that increasingly values the STEM disciplines and professional degrees over a “well rounded education.” The humanities are often cast as the victims of an […]

Are the “inequality” charts simply tracking tax code changes?

| September 7, 2016

The main historical argument made by inequality scholars such as Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez, and Gabriel Zucman asserts that the income and wealth distributions of the United States follow a U-shaped pattern across the past 100 years. According to this narrative, the century began at very high levels of inequality. Intervening events such as the adoption […]