Saturday assorted links

1. Should New York City or NY state pay for CUNY?

2. The American middle class is doing fine in Utah.

3. Will German privacy law conflict with the storage of economic data for research?

4. Some of the academics who support Donald Trump and what they say.

5. “The DeafSpace philosophy rests on five basic principles.”  For instance:

Groups of signers will naturally form circles or arcs to include everyone. They avoid long, rectangular tables, which impede views. The least Deaf-supportive space Bauman could think of, when I asked him what it might be, was the traditional classroom with straight rows of desks; that layout breaks up lines of communication, except between student and teacher. Many classrooms at Gallaudet have round or horseshoe-shaped seating arrangements. Meeting rooms may have oval desks; lecture halls are raked, and ideally have multiple aisles so an audience member can easily take the stage when he or she wants to ask a question.

An excellent article, interesting throughout.


#4. Somebody ought to do some research on conformism among academics. Hypothesis: higher education workers are among the most conformist of all industries/occupations. Seems to be a real absence of creative and independent thought at least in the U.S.

Ah...apparently already done. Null hypothesis rejected. No wonder all this cant about teaching thinking skills has seen so much abject failure.

You notice the only example the writer offered of academic groupthink was an economist. Economics and political science are the only social research disciplines where there is any diversity at all (and, off hand, I can think of three academics who've been subject to witch hunts orchestrated by the board or officers of their 'professional' association. Neither AEA nor APSA is the culprit). The Times is never truly off message.

What kind of conformism is good, and what kind is bad?

Americans seem conformist behind ideas like gravity, and constitutional democratic government.

Those are pretty good traits.

> What kind of conformism is good, and what kind is bad?

Oh wait, I know the answer to this one. Conformity of ideas that supports Millian's priors are good. Conformity that opposes his priors are bad.


The idiotic "priors" comment is the just the new "I disagree with you and hate your for it" comment. Have fun with that.

With all due respect, his post was at least content-substantive whereas yours is pure as-hominem. Actually your post works very well as an apt self-subscription; I suspect that's far too meta to have been your actual intent though

His post was substantive? Ha. Marc, I disagree with you because what you say just confirms your priors, therefore you can't be convinced I am correct. Please go away. I win. And I win on a meta level. That's all any of us are trying to say on here, isn't it?

Leftists reflexively defend academia because it is a group of leftists who discriminate against conservatives to ensure their homogeny, whilst producing at breakneck speed research with spurious anti-conservative conclusions. That's why Millian "fucking loves science".

His post is an observation rebutting the suggestion of an inherently neutral formation of "good conformity" with the, rather obvious I grant you, reminder that "good conformity" is itself an item of subjective discourse.

What exactly your post aims to do, apart from "nuh uh, dummy!" is unclear

Screw you Millian, we are guaranteed a republican form of government.

..& you're going to get it

good & hard.

What would a right wing historian be like? A right wing sociologist?

I'm inclined to suspect that right wing orthodoxies for the modern world are just not very conducive to such fields. Like, consider the apparent opposition to the idea that "culture matters" in seeking to explain some current problematic, at least on this forum more common on the right. What value is the work of a historian who believes that culture doesn't matter in understanding the political and social dynamics of a historical event, or untangling the biases of various historical sources to try to figure out what was really going on?

There must be some more nuanced thinking somewhere on the right. But stances like "colonialism doesn't really matter in understanding history or the present" does not seem to me like the sort of mindset required for a good understanding of history. No doubt they get laughed out of the halls. Want to argue that 16th century wherever would have done better with lower taxes, smaller government, freer markets, more conservative social values, or all manner of other right wing things? I don't think anyone's going to laugh at you, but will point out various political realities at those times which explain why they did not come to pass. But eschewing certain critical analytical lenses, for reasons that I do not at all understand the reason for an apparent left/right divide on such thinking, may actually be semi-legitimate.

Like, really, what's the value of a historian who thinks that culture doesn't matter in explaining history?

Anyways, the main question is this: What would a right wing historian be like? I think the answer would be instructive for how things play out in other fields.

Of course, with a background in political science and economics this all seems rather foreign to me (I wonder if Art's suggestion that this is a general thing might apply, but I simply don't know). I was regularly and strongly challenged by proponents of right wing orthodoxies in my classes in uni, views which were absolutely encouraged to play a respected and important part of the debate, although as academics they obviously tend to have a more nuanced view than the strict orthodoxies.

A right wing or at least not left wing historian or prehistorian would for example be able to integrate the overwhelming amount of genetic evidence of successive waves of humans conquering Europe and wiping out previous waves, with the written record.
Or they would be able to integrate the genetic evidence why some populations/tribes/races/groups have been more succesful than others rather than explaining this in terms of geography.

Do you realize for example that Otzi has almost no living descendants, in other words, the group/tribe/culture he belonged to was almost entirely wiped out.

I didn't know that we expected historians to have greater expertise on genetic history than the geneticists themselves. Also, being historians, like, looking at history, old stuff and all, they tend to be a little slow on the uptake with current events or recent scientific research.

And anyways, what you speak of is a matter for anthropology, not history. History deals primarily with the written record, architecture and art.

Also, they may never ultimately incorporate the perspective you suggest, because invaders usually intermarry after successful conquest, not kill everyone. History was far less warlike than you suggest. Most people in most places in the last 10,000 years were mostly busy in farming and livestock, not much at all involved in killing. And invaders tend to rather like it if natives keep farming, because invaders have lots of weapons and that means free booty.


What would a right-wing historian argue? Niall Ferguson has defended colonialism... Gregory Clark wrote "A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World". Easterly (and others) wrote "Was the Wealth of Nations Determined in 1000 BC?*. Deirdre McCloskey wrote "Bourgeois Dignity: Why Economics Can't Explain the Modern World".

I don't agree with all of these ideas. However, there is much fertile ground for a right-wing historian to plow. The dominance of the left leaves a lot of low-hanging fruit.

People who have to spend years specializing in a skill...ain't got time to waste thinking about useless things like politics and the size of Donald Trump's p***s.

So yes, there is more "conformism" because they rely more on popular opinion on subjects that don't matter.

Plus, they are nerds, and desire social acceptance, so going with the popular opinion is an easy way to get that. Seems the rational thing to do.

#1 - without reading the article, I vote for NYC. "CUNY" means "City" University of New York, as in New York City. The name informs you as to who should pay. It's obvious. No wonder I flunked law school?

What if it just happens to be in the city? Should only Central Michigan taxpayers support Central Michigan University? Should only those who live in Lake Superior support Lake Superior State University?

Shorter Jan as long as I don't have to pay for it the bill should be spread around as far as possible. And it thinks this is a principled stand.

Yeah, why would people statewide pay for a regional university system instead of the people in the region? Also, why don't people in Pennsylvania pay for SUNY?

Who should pay for [anything]? I thought the standard answer was the federal government, by raising taxes on the wealthy.

The article mentions that NYC controls 30 percent of appointments to the CUNY Board of Trustees. Cuomo wants the city to pay 30% of expenses.

A New York State has two public systems, the CUNY system in the five boroughs and the SUNY system in the other 57 counties. You cannot merge the systems because their internal architecture is different, and, in the case of the SUNY system, quite tidy as is. The In-state tuition schedule is available for any New York State resident in both systems, so the state government is the appropriate locus of the subsidy. You'd only devolve to the NYC government if the special tuition were limited to NYC resident.s

Get over the name. New York City residents already pay New York State taxes, which are among the highest in the country. New York students from outside New York City pay in-state tuition at CUNY. There is no SUNY campus (other than some narrow specialty schools) in the New York City area. The state should be funding both.

#4 - Sigh. I am part of the problem, because I could only bring myself to skim the article and my gut reaction was "those dumb @#%@ hicks!"

I do wonder how much of the Trump phenomenon is down to the elite/coastal mainstream rejection of Southerners. I can only speak for the west coast, but I'd say that at least 95% of the people who move here from the South end up changing their accents so they aren't perceived as stupid. While I've never been on the other side of the coin, I can see how that could grate on people.

Southerners lose their accent naturally when they're outside the South, if they ever had one. In and among my Southern connection, you do not hear one out of the mouth of anyone born after about 1956, even if they stayed in the South all their life. My relations tell me that it persists in their blue collar relatives. Where I grew up, the local accent with its flat vowels was a distinctly downmarket connection (and rather less appealing than any Southern accent you're likely to hear).

And that sounds like bullshit. I know a few people in my close work and social circles who have been taken out of the south but retain quite noticeable accents.

The Northern Cities Vowel Shift, to which I'm pretty sure you are referring, even if you didn't know that's what it is called, is actually getting stronger, and not just among blue collar folks.

I've got a friend from Vermont who has picked up half a southern accent with about a dozen years in Louisiana, and my cousin who moved to Australia a few years ago has detectable traces of an Australian accent.

I don't think it's a status thing.

I do wonder how much of the Trump phenomenon is down to the elite/coastal mainstream rejection of Southerners

I don't think Trump's doing much better down South than anywhere else. He won Massacusetts and New Hampshire and Cruz and Rubio are doing best in the Plains and areas adjacent. Some time ago, the disreputable Mr. Derbyshire in a book review on immigration teased out the logic of the author's position: a fish-doesn't-know-it's-wet disdain for ordinary non-exotic wage earners. The idea that such people might influence policy disgusts much of our professional-managerial bourgeoisie.

He does best in the Northeast and second best in deep south. Not as well in Texas, Oklahoma, and Midwest

I think he'd be doing fine in Texas and Oklahoma if it wasn't for Ted Cruz, a popular Senator from the region. We have no clue how Trump will do among West coast Republicans, as there has been no polling or elections out there. He got 40%+ in Hawaii and Nevada, which indicates that he may be strong out West.

I think Trump has basically no weak areas in the Republican field except among Mormons, Puerto Ricans, and in the high plains. And even in the high plains, he's still second place and would probably run away with if Cruz wasn't there.

Trump is currently getting curb-stomped in Wyoming, so there's one data point about the West.

Trump also got creamed in Maine, because it was a small caucus state, like Wyoming. I don't think the Wyoming caucus with a few hundred participants is any indication of what'll happen in California, Washington, and Oregon.

While I suppose he got some votes, all the Texans I know really hate Trump. For one thing, he is a costal elite, what is worse is he loves big government.

Even if Cruz weren't around, I would still donate the maximum to his opponents, fight him through the convention process, etc.

According to a New York Times analysis of polling as of Dec. 31st:

"Mr. Trump’s best state is West Virginia, followed by New York. Eight of Mr. Trump’s 10 best congressional districts are in New York, including several on Long Island."

"His worst is Utah, a traditionally Republican and affluent state."

"I do wonder how much of the Trump phenomenon is down to the elite/coastal mainstream rejection of Southerners"

Not sure what Southerners have to do with this. Turmp's main base of support and his main appeal is to northern midwest rust-belt hicks.

#2, gee, amazing. You're telling me that the American middle class still does fine when out of wedlock births, alcoholism, and sloth are frowned upon?

Culture matters.

2. They are not "doing fine". They are just not earning much or less than the fiftieth percentile. There is no real reason to celebrate Utah over those bottom-ranked, wealthy cities unless you think that this distribution is God-given (maybe they do!)


Utah just happens to have the lowest income inequality in the nation. New York and DC rank highest (50 and 51). California ranks 44th.

Like it or not, homogeneous communities with strong cultural norms (conservative norms) provide a much better life for folks at or below the median income. Of course, elites do better with diversity and massive inequality. Quote from the NYT.

"Inequality Is Turning Blue - In 1979, 15 of the 21 most unequal states were in today’s red-state bloc. By 2012, there were more blue and purple states in that ranking than red ones."

From "Is Life Better in America's Red States" ( Short answer. Yes, it is.

#1: Yes, but the price should be a re-structuring of CUNY, which has been damaged by the usual mess. Have CUNY corral all Downstate institutions bar Stony Brook, allocate some seats on the board to the suburban county executives, shut the School of Professional Studies, shut the J-School, shut Medgar Evers College, shut York College, re-incorporate the College of Technology as a state technical school which emphasizes associate's degrees over baccalaureate degrees; re-incorporate the medical school, engineering school, and architecture school as free-standing institutions and not subsidiaries of CCNY; and, finally, merge CCNY with Manhattan Community College, end the issuance of bachelor's degrees, and shed the excees faculty. CCNY was ruined by open enrollment. Time for a mercy killing.

'The Science Minister of Baden Württemberg, Theresia Bauer, has recently spoke out and warned of the great damage this measure will do to economic research, not only in Germany (read here, in German). The Verein für Socialpolitik (German Economics Association) has prepared an open letter to protest against this bill (in German).'

Theresia Bauer has been a member of the Grüne since at least 1999, but let's be honest, pointing that fact out would likely just weaken the appeal that is being spread.

Or, equally possible, the idea that a Green minister cares about research would never have occurred to someone decrying a situation where factual information is being removed from public view.

#4: mr van horn sure better start publishing a lot of great articles that get written about online and fill up his google search results and his cv, because otherwise... something tells me this article isn't going to exactly be a asset for him when he applies for jobs in academia and this is the first thing that pops up when you google him. not saying its legal, but many of the profs reading job applications are going to quickly stick his to the back of their pile when they see this.

Decent teaching posts are way outstripped by the PhD pool as it is. Guy like this probably doesn't hope for or expect one. Think tanks and campaigns won't mind as much, I'd think.

well, its a good way to put the nail in the coffin on that career path, i guess

He could get a job at Trump University. Probably a fake name, however.

Unlikely, as it no longer exists

#2. What about demographics? I'm willing to bet that the average household size in Utah is significantly different than metro areas on the coasts? Russ Roberts often talks about how the measures of the income distribution are sensitive to these factors. Could this just be an effect where high-income earners are pushed into the middle class, making them look more like the traditional measures?

Kind of, but not the way you're thinking.

A LOT of the income inequality that we're seeing is because of the collapse of household sizes. So instead of a bunch of one-income (and if Mom worked, she didn't make much because Sexism**) two-parent homes turned into a bunch of two-income homes on the top end where Mom and Dad made equal (and huge) pay and a bunch of one-income, single-parent homes on the bottom. Huzzah, household incomes diverge massively.

What happens in UTAH is that none of that happened. I hate to link to Steve Sailer, but he's almost calling this one, and giving you the hint as to what's really going on.

"Ogden-Clearfield has the second biggest gender gap in the country for income, behind only culturally similar Provo-Orem"

And from the comment section in

"Utah ranks last in the U.S. for the percentage of mothers with young children in the labor force, at 52.8 percent. That’s 42.7 percentage points — the biggest gap in the nation — behind working fathers. Meaning that 95.5% of married fathers with young fathers with children work, the highest percentage in the country. Another catastrophe for women’s equality!"


* Everyone gets married.
* Half your families are one-income.
* The other half are at best one-and-a-half income because Sexism**.

TADA! You don't have those poor 1-income households and 2-income strivers, and demographics make you look really, really good.

**Or you know, the complicated set of reasons that get called sexism that honestly do include some sexism.

The ludicrous expansion of pseudo-rights is on full display with concepts like the 'right to be forgotten' which taken at face value would basically end the practice of history and archaeology.

It used to be that Joe Blow would enjoy anonymity for life outside a narrow social circle and only historically important figures went into the archives.

Sorry I've become a broken record. #2 is about housing. Rent is very affordable in Utah. Look at the bottom of their list of cities. There is a sharp drop off in the percentage of population identified as middle class in the bottom dozen or so MSAs at the bottom of the list. This includes San Francisco/San Jose, LA, and some other California cities, NYC, Boston, and Washinton, DC. These are all very expensive places to live. Those cities do happen to have more higher income households than lower income, but that is partly because lower income households have moved away. That's basically why Fresno and Bakersfield are at the bottom of the list. They are low income exurbs of the coast. It's the first destination for low income households fleeing the high cost prosperity of coastal California. NYC, Boston, and coastal California have high household incomes yet they have domestic migration patterns similar to Detroit's.

Except Detroit's population is now increasing, and the new entrants are higher than average income. Is that what you meant?

Here's a post with a graph comparing domestic migration before the housing bust. You may be right that there has been a change in the pattern in recent years. The crisis has expanded the housing supply crunch to the rest of the country, which might pull some population back to Detroit on the margin, since they have a surplus of housing.

Except Detroit’s population is now increasing,

Per the U.S. Census Bureau, a 5% decline since the last census, and unrelenting decline since 1950.

#4 is fantastic journalism. I could not even have found half of those universities, let alone the Trump supporter at them!

#4 Martin Gilens should be on the list. Trump is doing what he calls for.

Who funds CUNY? Well obviously the tax payers. Why not the students? Most colleges are bloated with staff and extraneous expenses. Tighten up the budget and let it be self supporting.

+1 Great comment.

New York State funds about 48% of CUNY's budget, New York City about 42%. New York State funds about 28% of SUNY's budget (counties partially fund the community colleges, I have no idea what percentage of SUNY's budget is funded by counties.) Full-time tuition is about the same at SUNY and CUNY.

SUNY has about twice as many full-time students as CUNY. SUNY has about 5 times as many part-time students (probably mostly part-time students at community colleges) as CUNY.

Did a little digging, here's TC3's 2009 financial report (Tompkins-Cortland Community College, a SUNY community college). In the 2008-2009 year, state appropriations was 27.0% of its revenues and local (county) appropriations were 22.7%. The TC3 Board of Trustees has 10 members, 5 appointed by Tompkins and Cortland counties, 4 appointed by the governor, and one student trustee.

CUNY Board of Trustees has 9 members appointed by governors, 5 members appointed by mayors, one student trustee, and one faculty trustee.

I counted only three academics in the Trump article. Admittedly I skimmed. Couldn't find very many, and they included a Phd student and someone at a no-name college. What a force to be reckoned with!

Well they didn't say they were significant in numbers, only that they were trying to explore them

#4) Wow, what a list of "academics".

2 PhD students, and adjunct at a community college....and only 1 person who might, even remotely, be called an "academic", except for being an assistant professor of a useless degree at a school that literally dozens of people had ever heard of before.

I don't think the authors did their homework here. All they had to do was call someone at Hillsdale College, any random person from the phone book, and they would have found their mythical unicorn of a Turmp-supporting "academic".


1) Stunningly dishonest. Remove a half a billion dollars of funding from the state level, but claim a) it won't affect services and b) no one else will have to increase funding? Why is this article not about what a liar this guy is?

3) Wow. That's exceedingly dumb. It sounds like Germany already has the gold standard for privacy protection. What possible reason could firms have for wanting to lobby to destroy such data? I can hardly even fathom. Might some number of firms know that their data will reveal economically questionable practices which would lead researchers to propose policy changes? What else could it possibly be?

4) Wouldn't give him keys to your apartment, but you'd give the hothead access to nuclear buttons. Mind boggling.

1. If mutually consenting adults wish to pay for CUNY that is nobody's business in my opinion. And personally I think a good argument can be made in favor of subsidizing access to CUNY for certain groups such as the disabled, as is currently done in Germany. However, given how weak America's public health system still is in relation to every other developed nation, it is probably too too early to consider it. This is unfortunate, as I do think there are a great many Americans who could really benefit from some brief but vigorous access to it.

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