"Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America by Nancy MacLean"

Steven Horwitz, following Mike Munger, eviscerates Professor MacLean's book.

MacLean’s own responses and the unwillingness of so many other progressive historians and scholars to call her out on her obvious scholarly transgressions are very sad outcomes. A serious attempt to engage public choice theory by progressive scholars would have been welcome, as would a subsequent exchange that involved more than progressives taking legitimate scholarly criticisms as coordinated attacks and then shouting “Koch!” as if that were an answer to said criticisms. Such a conversation will have to await the publication of a different book. 


Two on Thaler's Nobel prize

Mario Rizzo:

But what is wrong about this is not what Thaler and behavioral economists think is wrong. Neoclassical man was never intended to be an image of a real person. He was, and is, a puppet – a theoretical construct designed to generate predictions about market or aggregate behavior. . . . 

Aside from the policy implications, there is an incredible irony here. Standard economics is mocked for its rationality assumptions and yet those assumptions are held up as an ideal for real human beings.

James R. Rogers:

Much of the commentary on Thaler, and on behavioral economics more generally, hints that he overthrows the basis for standard, modern microeconomics. Umm. Eh. Well . . . No.