Monday, February 14, 2005

Academics in Vegas

Here’s another one of those Leftie Academics the Wingers are always complaining about:

Professor Hans-Hermann Hoppe, at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, was lecturing about economics one day.

In [his] lectures Mr. Hoppe presented the concept of "time preferences"-- that is, people's varying degrees of willingness to defer the immediate consumption of goods in favor of saving and investment. Time preferences are an important notion in economics, and particularly in the Austrian-libertarian school to which Mr. Hoppe adheres.

In his lectures, Mr. Hoppe said that certain groups of people -- including small children, very old people, and homosexuals -- tend to prefer present-day consumption to long-term investment. Because homosexuals generally do not have children, Mr. Hoppe said, they feel less need to look toward the future. (In a recent talk at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, which Mr. Hoppe says was similar to his classroom lecture, he declared, "Homosexuals have higher time preferences, because life ends with them.")

One of his students, a Michael Knight, objected to gays being classed with small children, particularly since Mr. Hoppe was basing his lecture on, as it turned out, nothing but his own hot air – ah, I mean his own sweet opinion.

According to both Mr. Hoppe and Mr. Knight, the university's formal grievance procedure hinged on the question of whether Mr. Hoppe could cite peer-reviewed academic literature to support the claim that homosexuals have high time preferences. The "letter of instruction," which was written on Wednesday by Raymond W. Alden III, the university's executive vice president and provost, tells Mr. Hoppe that his comments created "a hostile learning environment because they were not qualified as opinions, theories without experimental/statistical support, topics open to debate, or otherwise limited."

So what’s Mr. Hoppe doing?

Suing the university, of course. They’ve upset him.

And interfered with his free speech, about which he has a stronger point, I have to say.

The Wingers will be happy to know that the ACLU has taken his case.

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