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Finally, Economics Departments Will Teach Free Market Capitalism


For whatever reason, the University of Utah was a long resister in the dominance of the free market fundamentalism that has made the field of Economics a joke. Luckily, there has been some meaningful pushback against this new orthodoxy in the last decade, but many Economics departments are still dominated by right-wing hacks. That was never the case at Utah. That’s why the Beehive State became a center of global Marxism in its governance and voting preferences. Anyway, the Koch Brothers have finally solved this problem by funding an entirely new Economics department devoted explicitly to full 100% hackdom. In supporting this, the Deseret News provides arguably the worst newspaper editor op-ed I’ve ever read.

The newly established Marriner S. Eccles Institute for Economics and Quantitative Analysis at the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business will provide some philosophical balance to the university’s educational offerings and scholarship on economics, and it will further position the university to produce what Utah needs — an educated workforce.

The institute, which was made possible by gifts from the Eccles family and Koch foundations, is an unequivocal win for students, the state and the University of Utah’s burgeoning world-class business reputation.

For the better part of a century, Castro’s Cuba and the University of Utah’s economics department seemed like the last bastions of Marxist thought in North America — with the latter being subsidized by local tax dollars.

Teaching Keynesianism is basically Castro. And anything left of that, well, those people were basically advising Pol Pot.

In recent years, prominent Marxist scholars such as Emery Kay Hunt and Hans G. Ehrbar have defined the ethos of the university’s unorthodox department. Even today, the University of Utah remains one of the few universities to still offer some economics courses from a Marxian perspective.

Oh. My. God. Marxian economics. How will 19 year old kids from the Salt Lake suburbs survive this onslaught on their common sense?

Now, thanks to a generous $10 million gift from the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation and the Marriner S. Eccles Foundation, along with a matching $10 million gift from the Charles Koch Foundation, local students will be exposed to a more academically vibrant suite of economic ideas.

The plutocrats, riding to our rescue like the Mormons to the wagon train at the Mountain Meadows Massacre! Oh wait…

Major Utah employers such as Goldman Sachs, Qualtrics and many others now thrive on well-tuned data analytics. Taylor Randall, dean of the David Eccles School of Business, explained that in the process of designing its new major, the business school researched what skills students would need to remain competitive in the local workforce. The research is reflected in the degree’s pragmatic, economics-oriented curriculum.

With the involvement of the Koch Foundation, there will undoubtedly be some who claim that the new institute is now ideologically beholden to the well-known conservative brothers Charles and David Koch. For example, after the Koch Foundation announced a separate gift at Utah State University earlier this year, protesters projected an image of the billionaire brothers on the side of the school’s building with text, reading: “SOLD! Utah State University Respected research institution! $25,000,000.” But, that ignores the commitment to education and gifts to 300 institutions, including Stanford, Harvard and Brown, that the Koch Foundation has provided.

Yes, the fact that the Koch Brothers are buying influence across the nation clearly demonstrates that they aren’t buying influence in Utah? Sounds like our editors need courses in logic as much as they do economics.

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