How does the marketplace of ideas — and how do people who generally support free speech — react to the advancement of free-market ideas?
Well, the new Milton Friedman Institute at the University of Chicago has sure kicked up a fuss. That is, a whole bunch of anti-free-marketers have kicked up a fuss about it.
More than a hundred University of Chicago professors have signed a letter to the university president complaining that the pro-market approach of the Milton Friedman Institute has not been adequately vetted. By them. By the foes of free markets. They are “disturbed,” they write, by the school’s support for the institute.
Oh, theirs is no simple case. They express no worries about academic freedom. They admit that the work of the institute “will not have a chilling effect” on other inquiry at the university. But they claim it will make the public more likely to “perceive” that the Chicago faculty “lacks intellectual and ideological diversity.” And they insist that the growth of global markets is not as beneficial as Milton Friedman’s followers make it out to be.
This last claim tips the hand of these professors. I am sure they were irked by Professor Friedman’s long tenure at the University of Chicago and his vast influence there. Now they can take out their revenge by preventing others from exploring his ideas.
Their fear and loathing makes me like the Milton Friedman Institute already.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.