From Dr Donald J. Boudreaux.
Sir, You report (October 27) that George Soros is committing $50m to start a new think-tank whose purpose will be to displace what he considers (as you summarise it) “the unwavering belief in unchecked free markets, which remains pervasive in universities”. Or, to quote Mr Soros directly: “The ideologists in the free markets are still in command and I think they’ll be very difficult to remove because they have tenure.”
Mr Soros should check his facts before wasting his money. As my colleague Bryan Caplan writes in The Myth of the Rational Voter (2007), surveys show that, while economists are to the right of their university colleagues in other disciplines, “compared to the general public, the typical economist is left of centre”.
Donald J. Boudreaux,
Chairman, Dept of Economics,
George Mason University,
Fairfax, VA, US
I add, to be clear, that most economists are to the left of the general public not only on social issues, but on most economic issues as well.
(Apologies to GMU Econ’s new Chairman, Dan Houser, for my being misidentified in this letter as Chairman. The fault is mine, as I mistakenly sent the letter in using an old template.)