by Leslee Kulba
Wild West blogger
Saith the Smoky Mountain News:
Fears that a controversial economics policy center coming to Western Carolina University will be a vehicle to advance conservative, laissez-faire market theories have been partially quelled with the creation of a rigorous and robust faculty oversight board. . . .
The proposed Center for the Study of Free Enterprise would be funded with a $2 million gift from the Charles Koch Foundation. The source of funding was met with suspicion from many faculty, given the Koch brothers’ vast network of political advocacy arms and think tanks aimed at moving American society in a conservative, Libertarian direction.
Due to the sensitive nature of the subject matter, an advisory committee will be formed to discuss the composition of the center’s advisory committee. The resulting advisory committee will be commissioned with scrutinizing and criticizing the center’s objectives. That is, it will make sure bad ideas not only get equal air time with good ideas, it is imperative the bad ideas be given equal standing. Such checks and balances are unprecedented for university centers, which generally go whole-hog for – well, consider the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality at the University of Chicago.
Free markets work. The amount of economic freedom in a given jurisdiction is always highly-correlated with prosperity. Honest economies do not grow with spending, but with production. One can only wonder why John Maynard Keynes was so fascinated with collecting Isaac Newton’s original manuscripts. Perhaps he wanted to change the text to reverse cause and effect here and there.