A Penetrating Self-Criticism of Liberals
This is a penetrating self-examination of what it means to be liberal. Few of any political persuasion are capable of examining their own contradictions. Kristof’s parting shot applies far more broadly than to what my friend John Hughes used to call the totalitarian liberals. “Cocky? Narrow-minded? I suggest that we look in the mirror.” The following is surely a finding that involves more than just liberals: “When a survey finds that more than half of academics in some fields would discriminate against a job seeker who they learned was an evangelical, that feels to me like bigotry.”
Intolerance toward religious belief now dictates that you cannot pray in a public meeting or mention or sing the word God without it offending someone. You can’t read Mark Twain, because he used the n-word, or read Paul because he said that women should be quiet in church and wear their hats. (Never mind that in Paul’s time in Greek and Roman culture, it was illegal for women to attend public meetings and Paul was pushing the envelope while not wanting to attract excessive attention to his persecuted minority. Christianity was known as the religion of slaves, women, and children–the marginalized segments without rights, at the time.)
And get this comment against Kristof by a reader: “I am grossly disappointed in you for this essay, Mr. Kristof. You have spent so much time in troubled places seemingly calling out misogyny and bigotry. And yet here you are, scolding and shaming progressives for not mindlessly accepting patriarchy, misogyny, complementarianism, and hateful, hateful bigotry against the LGBTQ community into the academy.” I believe most of the anti-LGBTQ sentiment is just an incredible ignorance of the facts of gender identity. Instead of name calling ask the person what she or he would do if their child was born with both male and female organs? That and all the other sex variations that add up to 1-2% of the population is what a free society for all has to come to terms with. Only in America do we have a chance to take that society to new levels, the greatest enemy of that society is blatant intolerance.
Dr. Vernon L. Smith was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 2002 for his groundbreaking work in experimental economics. Dr. Smith has joint appointments with the Argyros School of Business & Economics and the School of Law, and he is part of a team that will create and run the new Economic Science Institute at Chapman.
Dr. Smith has authored or co-authored more than 250 articles and books on capital theory, finance, natural resource economics and experimental economics. He serves or has served on the board of editors of the American Economic Review, The Cato Journal, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, the Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Science, Economic Theory, Economic Design, Games and Economic Behavior, and the Journal of Economic Methodology. He is past president of the Public Choice Society, the Economic Science Association, the Western Economic Association and the Association for Private Enterprise Education. Previous faculty appointments include the University of Arizona, Purdue University, Brown University, the University of Massachusetts, and George Mason University, where he was a Professor of Economics and Law prior to joining the faculty at Chapman University. Dr. Smith has been a Ford Foundation Fellow, Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and a Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Scholar at the California Institute of Technology.
In 1991, the Cambridge University Press published Dr. Smith’s Papers in Experimental Economics, and in 2000, a second collection of more recent papers, Bargaining and Market Behavior. Cambridge published his Rationality in Economics: Constructivist and Ecological Forms in January 2008. Dr. Smith has received an honorary Doctor of Management degree from Purdue University, and is a Fellow of the Econometric Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Dr. Smith is a distinguished fellow of the American Economic Association, an Andersen Consulting Professor of the Year, and the 1995 Adam Smith Award recipient conferred by the Association for Private Enterprise Education. He was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 1995, and received CalTech’s distinguished alumni award in 1996. He has served as a consultant on the privatization of electric power in Australia and New Zealand and participated in numerous private and public discussions of energy deregulation in the United States. In 1997 he served as a Blue Ribbon Panel Member, National Electric Reliability Council.
Dr. Smith completed his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering at the California Institute of Technology, his master’s degree in economics at the University of Kansas, and his Ph.D. in economics at Harvard University.
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