Entries by Phillip W. Magness

Fake Meat: More Entrée or Agenda?

Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes

Editors’ Note: A variety of ideas to “fight climate change” are afoot. Some are directly pushed by the government that uses its taxing and regulatory power to substitute its judgment for those of its citizens.  They want to dictate what kind of dishwasher, stove, or heating system you will use. Other methods are subsidization and […]

College History Textbooks Spread Misinformation About the Great Depression

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Great Depression was the most significant macroeconomic event of the past century, but don’t expect to find an accurate portrayal of its causes in your college history classroom. The most commonly assigned college-level US history textbooks contain obsolete and economically erroneous explanations of the 1929 stock market crash and its aftermath. In a new […]

Decolonization from Theory to Practice

Estimated Reading Time: < 1 minute

Since October 7th, 2023, we have seen that ideas have consequences in the real world. Phillip Magness is an economic historian who specializes in the economic dimensions of slavery and racial discrimination, the history of taxation, and measurements of economic inequality over time. He also maintains an active research interest in higher education policy and […]

Critical Race Theory in Data: What the Statistics Show

Estimated Reading Time: 7 minutes

The concept of Critical Race Theory (CRT) has sparked heated debate in recent years, particularly after conservative activists singled out this school of thought as a hotbed of applied Marxism in both higher and K-12 education. The response from CRT’s defenders has been peculiar, to put it mildly. Just over a decade ago, leading CRT […]

Critical Theory and The Frankfurt School: The Neo-Marxist Roots of WOKE

Estimated Reading Time: < 1 minute

In this episode of Liberty Curious, Kate Wand invited Phil Magness to discuss the origins of critical theory, which is a neo-Marxist school of thought born in the Frankfurt School in 1923. Phil is the director of research and education at AIER, and a prolific researcher on these kinds of ideas. They discuss the history […]

The 1619 Project’s Confusion on Capitalism

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

A pervasive sense of confusion characterizes Hulu’s new 1619 Project episode on “capitalism,” beginning with the basic definition of its titular term. Project creator Nikole Hannah-Jones opens the episode by conceding that “I don’t feel like most of us actually know what capitalism means.” This should have provided her an opportunity for self-reflection on how […]

The Unconstitutional Tax on “Unrealized Capital Gains”

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

The Biden Administration’s 2023 budget bill made headlines by proposing a so-called “billionaire tax,” imposing a 25-percent minimum rate on the “unrealized capital gains” of the wealthiest Americans. The Biden measure rests on an economic falsehood. The new proposal rests on the work of far-left academics such as Thomas Piketty and Gabriel Zucman, who erroneously […]

U.S. Economic Freedom Index Collapses to Carter Administration Levels

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Fraser Institute’s Economic Freedom of the World 2022 report was released this morning [September 8]. This report covers 2020, which while most of our recent history is a bit of a blur, was the year when COVID-19 and COVID lockdowns defined our shared experience. The first of those lockdowns began in mid-March, and we spent most of […]

Fauci, Emails, and Some Alleged Science

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

From October 2-4, 2020, the American Institute for Economic Research hosted a small conference for scientists to discuss the Covid-19 lockdowns. Just four days later, Dr. Francis Collins, the retiring Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), would call the three of the scientists in attendance “fringe epidemiologists,” in a directive he sent to […]

The 1619 Project Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry

Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes

When Nikole Hannah-Jones published the 1619 Project in August 2019, it initially came under an unfair line of attack from historians who took issue with aspects of its discussion of Abraham Lincoln. Hannah-Jones had correctly identified Lincoln as a supporter of black colonization – a common 19th-century “solution” to slavery that involved coupling emancipation with the […]

Fact Checking the 1619 Project and Its Critics

Estimated Reading Time: 14 minutes

Editors’ Note:  Although written about 18 months ago, the following article is an excellent summary that has not lost its relevance. Parents and grandparents are increasingly becoming aware that public schools are no longer… public. They in fact reflect more and more, radical views of the teacher’s unions, university education departments, and the bureaucratic class. […]

Quacks in the Ivory Tower: How Conspiracy Theorizing Took Over Lockdown Science

Estimated Reading Time: 7 minutes

Is the Great Barrington Declaration (GBD) simply a front for a secret global eugenics plot, hatched at AIER by the British Ministry of Defence and financed by the Koch Brothers as part of an ongoing effort to force climate change, tobacco, and Covid-19 infections on our senior citizens? Such claims may sound like the farcical […]

The Many Variants of Fauci’s Mutating Covid Advice

Estimated Reading Time: 9 minutes

In an explosive Senate hearing on March 18, Dr. Anthony Fauci clashed with Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul over a subject that has characterized much of the White House health adviser’s recent commentary on Covid-19: the specter of reinfection, caused by one of the emerging variants of the virus. Several recent studies suggest that both natural and vaccine-induced immunity to […]

The Empirical Case for a Mask Mandate Lacks Scientific Grounding

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

Last fall, the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics Evaluation (IHME) published a headline-grabbing study with a politically appealing claim: if Americans would simply mask up when they ventured out into public, over 120,000 lives could be saved by the beginning of next year. As Joe Biden takes office later this week, he is widely expected […]

Twelve Times the Lockdowners Were Wrong

Estimated Reading Time: 12 minutes

This has been a year of astonishing policy failure. We are surrounded by devastation conceived and cheered by intellectuals and their political handmaidens. The errors number in the thousands, so please consider the following little more than a first draft, a mere guide to what will surely be unearthed in the coming months and years. […]