Sunday, April 05, 2009

The price of a life

This is well worth the ten minutes. Milton Friedman, in a question and answer session with students.

I've also been watching the opening parts of Galbraith's TV series The Age of Uncertainty. Disappointingly, Galbraith contrasts Adam Smith's view, formed when he was at Oxford, that university teachers shouldn't be paid a fixed salary but rather on the basis of the number of students they attract with Smith's own willingness to accept a salary later as a university teacher, and implies this was hypocrisy, but he doesn't say whether or not Smith had the alternative of pay per view, as it were. That seems dishonest. (Smith actually tried to stop receiving payments from the Duke of Buccleugh at one point).

He also describes Smith's views about markets as his "faith", in a clear suggestion it was similar to a religious belief. That's tendentious and unworthy of a serious mind, which Galbraith plainly possessed.


dearieme said...

Smith taught at Glasgow. If, a big "if" I admit, it ran on the same lines as Edinburgh then much of his professorial pay would have been based on enrollments. There are tales of Humanities professors at Edinburgh gazing enviously as the Professor of Chemistry drove by in his coach. All medics took Chemistry courses.

dearieme said...

"unworthy of a serious mind, which Galbraith plainly possessed": snort. Possessing a deep well of self-regard is not the same as intellectual seriousness.