College Fix Staff

Greta Van Susteren took on Notre Dame’s upcoming class on white privilege, tearing the course a new one for dividing Americans and pushing the notion that only black Americans have it bad in this country.

The Fox News reporter stated in part during her “Off-The-Record” segment recently:

… Face it, Notre Dame’s course name, “White Privilege,” points fingers and creates victims. It is code for all whites have a leg up. And that’s simply just not true.

There are many poor whites, unemployed whites, whites who have lots of problems. White Americans down and out, with no hope. Just like there are many black Americans, unemployed, with lots of problems, down and out. And likewise, with no hope. There are also middle class blacks and middle class whites who have lots of problems, too.

Now, it’s no secret I’m white. I also have privilege. But I know a lot of blacks that are right there with me with that privilege. But that’s not the point of this “Off the Record.” The point is this. Notre Dame and other universities that use terms like “White Privilege” are not going to heal the divides – past divides, present divides, or future divides. Course names actually set the tone for the semester and blaming something is a lousy way to start. …


Like The College Fix on Facebook / Follow us on Twitter

IMAGES: Fox News

Brian T. Murphy, an assistant professor (Medicinal Chemistry) at University of Illinois at Chicago, writes that Chicago is now ripe for Ferguson-style protests.

Unfortunately, like too many others in academia and the media, Murphy either ignores or (purposely?) skates over uncomfortable facts regarding (black) crime and incarceration.

Via Reboot Illinois:

There are a few misconceptions as to why citizens are currently fighting for civil rights in Chicago’s streets. The reasons have less to due with the recent deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and 12-year old Tamir Rice at the hands of police. The details of these cases can be debated, but in the bigger picture they are irrelevant. Consider this:

African Americans comprise approximately 12% of the U.S. population, while they make up nearly 44% of our prison population. Roughly 1 of 15 African American males go to prison compared to 1 of 106 white males. Therefore, either 1) African Americans are more prone to crime, or 2) the criminal justice system has in some way become biased toward putting black human beings in prison.

Ironically, Murphy goes on to note that “The main obstacle to achieving equal rights under our law is shifting public opinion on this matter, by teaching that perception is not a substitution for fact.”

Black Americans committing 5,375 murders in 2013 vs. 4,396 for whites isn’t a perception. That is a fact. Police killings of blacks being down seventy percent in last fifty years isn’t perception — it’s also a fact.

Not all Americans believe police are virtuous, nor do all Americans believe that American justice is color-blind, despite Professor Murphy saying that it “appears” otherwise. This is a straw man he sets up, just like the “either-or” premise above that either blacks are more prone to crime or the US justice system is racially biased.

The fact is that both factors play a role. The questions are to what degree, and how best to make them better.

“It is immoral to ignore these statistics …” Murphy says. But it appears he means only some statistics.

Read the full article.

Like The College Fix on Facebook / Follow us on Twitter

IMAGE: DryHundredFear/Flickr

Now that the Rolling Stone story alleging a gang rape at a University of Virginia frat house has fallen apart, Greek Life groups are calling on campus leaders to reinstate fraternities and sororities, which were suspended in the wake of the extreme claim.

And they want an apology.

The Fraternity and Sorority Political Action Committee, the National Panhellenic Conference and the North-American Interfraternity Conference released a joint statement saying “we call on the University of Virginia to immediately reinstate operations for all fraternity and sorority organizations on campus, to issue an apology for its actions of the last two weeks, to publicly explain and release all records for the basis of its decision to suspend our organizations, and outline what steps it will take to restore the reputation of our groups and students at UVA.”

Read the full statement.

Like The College Fix on Facebook / Follow us on Twitter

A South Texas College professor was caught on video comparing the Tea Party to Nazis, The Blaze reports, citing a video taken by a student in the class.

“The student responsible for recording the comments, who asked to remain anonymous, identified the professor as Dr. Blake Armstrong,” The Blaze reports. “The video was recorded during a Nov. 17 class and uploaded on YouTube the same day.”

Not only can the professor can be heard saying that Tea Party members are like the Nazis, he also said that at some point people realized, “Oh, these Nazis are a bunch of nuts,” just like people today have realized “these tea party people are a bunch of nuts.”

The student who took the video told The Blaze that the professor frequently talks trash about Christians and Republicans.

Under the video, the student posted this description: “I began recording after he called Senator Ted Cruz a bastard for using the last name ‘Cruz’ to win the election.”

Like The College Fix on Facebook / Follow us on Twitter

IMAGE: YouTube

This is so ridiculous that even Power Line, which broke the story, had to title it “Not a parody.”

“Columbia Law School is permitting students claiming to be impaired due to the emotional impact of recent non-indictments in the Michael Brown and Eric Garner matters to postpone taking their final exams,” the blog reports, citing a message from interim dean Robert Scott to the law school community:

The grand juries’ determinations to return non-indictments in the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases have shaken the faith of some in the integrity of the grand jury system and in the law more generally. For some law students, particularly, though not only, students of color, this chain of events is all the more profound as it threatens to undermine a sense that the law is a fundamental pillar of society designed to protect fairness, due process and equality.

For these reasons, after consultation with students in the law school and with colleagues on the law faculty and in the administration, I am taking the following steps to assure our responsiveness and involvement in this particular moment …

The law school has a policy and set of procedures for students who experience trauma during exam period. In accordance with these procedures and policy, students who feel that their performance on examinations will be sufficiently impaired due to the effects of these recent events may petition Dean Alice Rigas to have an examination rescheduled.

As Power Line’s Paul Mirengoff notes: “What is really behind the request for postponement of exams? I suspect it’s the fact that the students in question would rather protest with their friends and perhaps disrupt New York City than read cases, review lecture notes, or whatever it is that students do these days to prepare for exams. In addition, the students in question presumably want the law school to take their side on what they take to be a political question. In other words, this is, in part, a power play.”

Read the full article.

Like The College Fix on Facebook / Follow us on Twitter

Casey Mulligan, a professor of economics at the University of Chicago and author of “Side Effects: The Economic Consequences of the Health Reform,” recently gave a speech in which he essentially explains in easily understood terms how the Affordable Care Act is a tax on full-time work, and a huge downer on our economy.

It’s a must-read for anyone who wants to understand how Obamacare is dragging down our American workforce. Portions of his speech are reprinted below with permission from Imprimis, a publication of Hillsdale College:

So what are the tax distortions that emanate from the ACA? Here let me simply focus on two aspects of the law: the employer mandate or employer penalty—the requirement that employers of a certain size either provide health insurance for full-time employees or pay a penalty for not doing so; and the exchanges—sometimes they’re called marketplaces—where people can purchase health insurance separate from their employer. The mandate or penalty is intended, of course, to encourage employers to provide health insurance. And the exchanges are where the major government assistance is provided, since those who purchase insurance in an exchange typically receive a tax credit. As I’ll explain, taken together, the penalty on employers and the subsidies in the exchanges add up to a tax on full-time employment—a tax that you pay if you work full time but not if you work part time or don’t work at all. And the problem with that, of course, is that by taxing full-time work—which is the same as subsidizing part-time work and unemployment—you get less of the former and more of the latter two.

How does this full-time employment tax work with regard to the employer mandate? As I mentioned, the penalty applies only in the case of full-time employees and only to employers that don’t offer health coverage, and it applies only in those months during which those full-time employees are on the payroll. If an employee cuts back to part-time work, the employer no longer has to pay the penalty. The dollar amount of the penalty doesn’t depend on whether the employee is rich, poor, or middle class—if he works full time, the employer must either provide insurance or pay the penalty. And the penalty is indexed to health insurance costs, so every year those costs increase more than the economy and more than wages, the penalty will increase more than the economy and more than wages.

The current penalty is usually described as $2,000 per year per full-time employee. But it’s really more than that, because the penalty, unlike wages, is not deductible from business taxes. So in terms of a salary equivalent, the penalty is closer to $3,000 a head. Needless to say, this penalty reduces competition in the labor market: It discourages employers from competing for full-time employees—which, if you’re an employee, is a bad deal. Also there are a lot of employers who are not going to pay the penalty because they don’t meet the size threshold of 50 or more employees, and employees are going to suffer because these small employers won’t want to become large employers and therefore subject to the penalty.

Furthermore, this mandate or penalty—and by this time it should be clear that we can think of it as a tax on having a full-time employee—disproportionately harms low-skill workers. Think about it this way: How many hours does a worker have to work each week to produce the $3,000-per-year of value to justify keeping his job or being hired? For a minimum-wage worker, that comes to eight hours a week, all year round—one day of work a week for the government due to the ACA alone. Higher-skilled employees can obviously produce $3,000 worth of value in less time, so the penalty will have less of an impact on them.

What of the tax distortions that come from the subsidized health insurance exchanges or marketplaces? To begin to think about this, imagine paying full price for your health care. How does full price work? Well, you pay the full price. The health care provider doesn’t look at your tax return and adjust the bill accordingly. So we would never call paying full price for health care an income tax of any kind. Or imagine there is a discount on the full price—for instance, 30 percent off for everybody, regardless of income. In that case it’s still not an income tax. No matter how much you earn, you pay the same price. But what if the discount (or subsidy) is tied to your employment situation? Not to your income, but to your employment situation. That’s how the exchanges work. If you have a full-time job with an employer that offers coverage—which is the case for most employees in our economy—you don’t get the subsidy offered through the exchanges. If you want to get the subsidy, you need to become a part-time worker or spend time off the job. In other words, this discount, too, is a tax on full-time employment. Of course, no politician ever calls it a tax. But when you are in a group of people that doesn’t receive a subsidy that people in another group receive, that’s a tax. …

In describing the size of this tax, again I find it useful to think in terms of how many hours per week somebody has to work to create enough value to replace the government subsidy he is losing because of his full-time status. There are a number of full-time workers who may have to work ten, 20, or even 30 hours a week to create the value they would get for free if they worked part time or didn’t work under the ACA. In the old days, working part time meant you earned less, and your family had less to spend than if you worked full time. Under this new system, on the other hand, if you have a family of four and make $26 an hour, dropping to part time can actually improve your financial condition by qualifying you for well over $1,000 per month in subsidies through the health care exchanges—an amount that exceeds what you would make by working the extra eleven hours per week. This is an economically perverse situation. We have decades of research showing that when you tax something, you get less of it. So if you tax labor, you get less labor. …

I have estimated that employment will be three percent less over the long term because of the ACA, and that national income—or GDP, if you like to think of it that way—will be two percent less. If you look at the productivity costs alone—forgetting the fact that there will be a number of people not working anymore—they come to $6,000 per person who gets health insurance because of the law. And I’m not beginning to count the payments needed for health care providers.

In conclusion, I can make you this promise: If you like your weak economy, you can keep your weak economy.

Read the full article.

Like The College Fix on Facebook / Follow us on Twitter

IMAGE: Americans for Prosperity/Flickr