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Looking forward in an hour and a half to listening to two great economics papers on COVID-19!… 1/
However, the series is being conducted under the auspices of the University of Chicago's Stigler Center for the Study of the Economy and the State, which puts itself forward as aiming "The Stigler Center aims to promote and disseminate research on regulatory capture, crony 2/
capitalism, and the various distortions that special interest groups impose on capitalism…"

A naive alien coming to this world from outer space, a “stranger to human nature” as Adam Smith put it, might suppose that chief among those “various distortions” imposed by “special 3/
interest groups” is the long and sorry tale of American slavery-Jim Crow-disenfranchisement-massive resistance to integration-scared police shooting and not-scared police beating up people.

Yet such a naive alien would be wrong.

Although a stranger to human nature might 4/
assume grappling with such issues would be one of the principal focuses of the Stigler Center, it is absolutely nowheresville.

I think that some of the historical deep roots of the Stigler Center’s lack of concern for such issues, issues that an alien would think solidly 5/
within its wheelhouse, are made visible in an essay that crossed my desk again last week, an essay that George Stigler penned back in 1962. In it, he denounced African-American “demonstrations growing in size and in insolence”—and, remember, back in 1961 and 1962 the 6/
"demonstrations" consisted of people like John Robert Lewis in a suit and tie sitting down at a “whites-only” lunch counter and then getting beaten up—and of those demonstrations’ “approv[al] or at least tolerat[ance] by the political, intellectual, and religious leaders of 7/
the nation”—i.e., that there was vocal disapproval from at least some powerful white people when the police were turned loose with billy clubs and dogs to break up such demonstrations.

As they say, read the whole thing: <…>

When will we see the announcement of a major reorientation of the funding, resources, endowment, and office space of the Stigler Center toward investigating and addressing possible cures for the regulatory capture of the American state by white supremacists, the crony 9/
capitalism that has suppressed African-American and other minority wages for all of American history, and the related distortions that special interest groups that earn psychic or material income from racial hierarchy have imposed on American capitalism? 10/END
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