Thursday, July 27, 2017

Did Charles Koch Buy a Piece of the University of Utah to 'Balance' a Marxist Faculty?

Charles Koch
Charles Koch is spending his money again. This time it is to "counterbalance" Marxians at the University of Utah by funding a program that appears will advance the false theories of econometrics.

Los Angeles Times columnist Michael Hiltzik explains what's going down:
Here’s something you may not have known about the University of Utah: It’s been a center of scholarship in Marxian economic theory.

But the right-wing Koch family almost certainly knows. That could be why the Charles Koch Foundation is making a $10-million donation to the school to establish a distinctly non-Marxian Institute for Economics and Quantitative Analysis at the university’s business school. The donation will match a combined $10-million donation from two foundations of Utah’s Eccles family.
The University denies a Koch attempt to counterbalance the Marxians.

More from Hiltzik:

The university says it approached the foundations, rather than the other way around. The grant agreement between the university and the Charles Koch Foundation specifies that the direction of the institute, its budget, and its appointments will be subject to the university’s standard procedures.

Yet this may overlook ways the Charles Koch Foundation could exert subtle, or even not-so-subtle, influence over the institute. Its $10-million donation will be spread over eight years, with each annual $1.25-million grant contingent on a written request and, at the four-year mark, an “update” on “the progress made in establishing this new program.”

The foundation is “under no obligation to contribute any funds to the Institute or the University,” the agreement says, which implies it could be revoked at any time on almost any pretext. Moreover, the Koch and Eccles grants are contingent on each other, which means that a Koch objection could endanger the entire $20 million in institute funding.

This grant structure could magnify any Koch Foundation pressure on the program. That wouldn’t happen if the university insisted, as some institutions do, on a general grant to the university to be applied by administrators in any way they see fit, with the money paid up front and irrevocably. Anything short of that merely invites the donating foundation to try throwing its weight around...
One interesting aspect of the University of Utah institute is that it will bear the name of Marriner Eccles, not Charles Koch. That reflects both the magic of the Eccles name and the opposition Koch inspires.

The Eccles clan is among the most prominent and respected in Utah, dating back to its patriarch, David, who lived around the turn of the last century, when he was the leading tithe payer to the Mormon church, and after whom the business school is named. Two family members sit on the university’s board of trustees.
Marriner Eccles (1890-1977) played a major role in writing the legislation that created the Federal Reserve System and was appointed the Fed’s first chairman after the legislation passed.

According to the Institute's website:
The mission of the institute is to push the frontiers of knowledge through academic research and provide University of Utah students access to high-quality education in economics, game theory, econometric and quantitative analysis.

Directing the new institute will be Adam Meirowitz, Kem C. Gardner Professor of Finance at the David Eccles School of Business...
 Said Meirowitz, “With economic analysis now applied widely to address problems in both the public and private realms, the new Eccles Institute not only will contribute significantly to these fields through its research, but also will enable the University of Utah and the Eccles School to develop talented economics graduates who will make positive, real-world impacts.”
Say what?

Forget Mises and Rothbard, this isn't even Hayekian.

 Meirowit apprears to be a James Buchanan quant.

I don't think Hayek's Counter Revolution of Science or Murray Rothebard's paper on Buchanan and Tullock’s The Calculus of Consent will be assigned reading at the institute.


1 comment:

  1. The Kochs are either trying to purposefully undermine the liberty movement or else they are among the most incompetent people ever. Despite their mushy message and mass failures of outreach and “education”, they are universally despised by the left and blamed for most everything. This morning I noted that Vanity Fair is trumpeting a new movie by Angelina Jolie about the Khmer Rouge and the 2 million slaughtered. That’s what socialists do. That’s what Marxists do. Just say it.

    Wouldn’t it make more sense for the Kochs to come right out and cover Utah with billboards explaining all that to the rabble while asking them why they are using their tax dollars to support a university department dedicated to worshiping atheism and the worst mass genocide in history?

    Or could it be that Kochs are just paying tribute to avoid running afoul of "3 felonies a day"?