Criticisms of George Mason U. Economics (and Mercatus)

Part of the "Critiques of Libertarianism" site.

Last updated 08/27/10.

The Economics department of George Mason University has been strongly shaped by tens of millions of dollars of donations by the libertarian Koch Foundations of the billionaire Koch brothers. Most, if not all, of the staff (23 GMU professors on the Mercatus "Scholars" list 5/16/09) is affiliated with the Koch-financed Mercatus Center, a libertarian pro-corporatist think-tank. The result is a propaganda mill with academic credentials.

Notable libertarian ideologues at both include:

But here's the fun part. All these macho, independent libertarians are sucking at the government tit. George Mason University is a public university, supported by state funds. At least 4 are also enjoying tenure. And they get to double dip at the conservative welfare tit of the Mercatus Center without even having to leave campus. What a splendid position from which to decry unions, living wages, job security, restrictions on competition, and all those other things that keep them from having cheaper servants.


NEW 10/07: Koch Family Foundations
The foundations of the libertarian billionaire Koch brothers have funded the organizations that produce much of the libertarian and corporatist propaganda that floods the media. Notably, Cato, the Reason Foundation, the economics department at George Mason University, and many more. From Media Transparency.
NEW 10/07: Charles Koch and Libertarianism: How to "Buy" a University
Robert D. Feinman's overview of the financing of libertarian George Mason University faculty by Koch Foundations. Faculty such as Tyler Cowan, Alex Tabarrok, and Bryan Caplan. Sucking at the capitalist tit has never been so good!
Why I Am Not an Austrian Economist.
Bryan Caplan's dismissal of Austrian Economics. He's more courteous than they deserve.
NEW 8/10: Covert Operations: The billionaire brothers who are waging a war against Obama.
Jane Mayer's The New Yorker article on Charles and David Koch. They have financed libertarian propaganda with more than 100 million dollars over more than 30 years. They founded and control the major libertarian think tanks Cato, Reason, Mercatus, and others. See: Koch think tanks at SourceWatch.

Print References

The links here are to, through their associates program, primarily because of the review information. Books without links are generally out of print, and can often be easily found at AddAll Used and Out Of Print Search. Good sites for bargain shopping for sometimes expensive new books are Online Bookstore Price Comparison and AddAll Book Search and Price Comparison. Both of those list applicable coupons. Another is

Steven M. Teles "The Rise of the Conservative Legal Movement: The Battle for Control of the Law"
(Princeton University Press 2008). Origins of the Federalist Society, George Mason University Economics Department, and more.

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Copyright 2007 by Mike Huben ( ).
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