Opinion
Economics professor Hammond responds to colleague
Old Gold & Black
By
Letter to the editor
Thursday, March 30, 2017

In “Concerns arise over funding of Eudaimonia Institute” (March 23) Professor James Hans is quoted as saying:

“If the people in the economics department want to teach their majors that libertarian economics is the only way to go, then that’s their business. But if you’re doing it for the Koch brothers or something then you’re on the take as far as I am concerned.”

Neither my colleagues in the department nor I teach libertarian economics, let alone that libertarian economics is the only way to go. The closest I can come to making sense of “libertarian economics” is that Professor Hans may be thinking of the Austrian economist, Ludwig von Mises and his followers. We do not have any followers of Mises on our faculty.

I would welcome any member of the Wake Forest faculty who wishes to visit my class (ECN 260, The Chicago School of Economics, 11:00 MWF) to see what I teach.

J. Daniel Hammond

Chair, Department of Economics

  • tdaly29

    Dear Dr Hammond
    I have great confidence that you and many of the professors teach a varied class with great professionalism.

    I was wondering what you classify as libertarian economics? Would John Allison, past head of the Koch sponsored Cato institute be defined as a libertarian or something else? (And a major sponsor of the BB&T Center when he was head of the bank.) How about James Otteson, Head of the Koch sponsored BB&T Center and Eudaimonia Institute. Is he a libertarian? Would I get a balanced view from either? From their writings I believe they would say that their (or the Koch’s) way is the only way. How many faculty in the Business School receive funds from Koch sponsored organizations? Is that information public?
    Yours
    Tom Daly ’69

    • tdaly

      I have changed my mind.
      Reading the student reviews of Dr. Hammond it seems that there is a
      professor on the economics faculty “who teaches that a particular strand
      of economics or economic policy is “the only way to go.”

      As Dr Hammond has called anyone who opposes Eudaimonia Institute “part of a neo-Marxist ideological agenda” (The Chronicle of Higher Education) I really do wonder what his classes are like.

      When a layperson reference libertarian economics may be thinking “Right-libertarians are economic liberals ofeither the Austrian School or Chicago school and support laissez-faire capitalism…. “. Since Dr Hammond’s writings deal with Friedman and price theory, I as a layperson, would call what he teaches libertarian economics.

  • Connor Gibson

    How about Hayek, then?

  • tdaly29

    Hayek was to the left of Koch favorite Ayn Rand and apparently the GOP.
    He, along with Friedman approved of a guaranteed minimum income and he approved of government supplied medical care.

    From in The Road to Serfdom

    “Nor is there any reason why the state should not assist the individuals in
    providing for those common hazards of life against which, because of their
    uncertainty, few individuals can make adequate provision. Where, as in the case
    of sickness and accident, neither the desire to avoid such calamities nor the
    efforts to overcome their consequences are as a rule weakened by the provision
    of assistance – where, in short, we deal with genuinely insurable risks – the
    case for the state’s helping to organize a comprehensive system of social
    insurance is very strong….