This week I talk with economic historian Phillip Magness, co-author (along with Jason Brennan) of a brilliant new book, Cracks in the Ivory Tower: The Moral Mess of Higher Education. This splendidly written and fast-paced book vindicates Stan Evans’s first rule of insufficient paranoia—no matter how bad you think things are, when you look closer, you find out it’s even worse than you thought.
Crack in the Ivory Tower explains how colleges and universities are guilty of the same kind of false advertising that would draw a consumer protection crackdown on any other large industry, how the humanities are continuing to grow despite declining student interest or demand, why administrative bloat is out of control, and how faculties continue to trend far to the left.
I also talked with Phil about “neoliberalism,” the revival of socialism, income inequality, and Nancy MacLean’s really bad book about the Nobel Prize winning economist James Buchanan, Democracy in Chains.
Transition music this week is “Good Man” by Josh Ritter—since that title fits our guest so well, and the exit music is “Sweet Oblivious Antidote” from Perpetual Groove—the title and the band name seem perfect for the impervious world of higher education.