The ‘entrepreneurial’ university: Daily Bullshit, June 27, 2016

Humanities

I imagine more than a few scholars will cheer what Eric Johnson has written.

Eric Johnson, “Business Can Pay to Train Its Own Work Force,” Chronicle of Higher Education, June 22, 2016, http://chronicle.com/article/Business-Can-Pay-to-Train-Its/231015/


Brexit

Roberto Savio observes the same class issues[1] that I highlighted in my blog post,[2] but goes on to blame—in significant part—the German government.[3]

Meanwhile, those who are relatively optimistic about the Brexit vote’s outcome on the world economy are making certain assumptions about how investors will react. There’s a big huge problem with this and that is, in contrast to the “rational markets” hypothesis, traders are not particularly rational. With the Dow down over 870 points in the last two days of trading,[4] we’re in the realm of psychology, much more even than economic ideology, and estimates under such conditions have been horribly wrong in the past.

Roberto Savio, “Brexit and EUexit,” Inter Press Service, June 25, 2016, http://www.ipsnews.net/2016/06/brexit-and-ueexit/

Maria Armental, “S&P Strips U.K. of Triple-A Credit Rating,” Wall Street Journal, June 27, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/s-p-strips-u-k-of-triple-a-credit-rating-1467050234

Gregor Stuart Hunter and Mike Bird, “British Pound Falls Further as ‘Brexit’ Shock Lingers,” Wall Street Journal, June 27, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/british-pound-falls-further-as-brexit-shock-lingers-1467004972

Aaron Kuriloff and Riva Gold, “Pound, Stocks Battered Again by Brexit,” Wall Street Journal, June 27, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/european-markets-remain-pressured-by-brexit-1467013530


Donald Trump

There’s still time for this to come together, but I’m starting to think I just might be wrong about the Republican Party singing Kumbaya at their upcoming convention. This after it initially seemed to be taking a lot less time than I expected.[5] Frankly, Donald Trump’s comments on the judge overseeing the Trump University case are having a larger impact than I would ever have expected. And no, I do not understand why these comments and not all the other inflammatory comments he’s made in the past are proving so toxic to his candidacy.

I’m just guessing, but it might be that functionalist conservatives who have been in denial about his candidacy for a long time are now finally having to come to grips with it. If that’s the case, then it remains to be seen how this really impacts Trump’s base of support, especially as the months remaining until the November election drag on. To the extent that it is more than that, I may be forced to revise my view that any Republican, Trump included, can beat Hillary Clinton.

There’s a huge caveat here. One of the points Roberto Savio makes relating to the failure of surveys to forecast the Brexit outcome is also applicable to Trump. He points out that an assumption behind any survey is that respondents will be truthful with investigators and that this assumption may fail when gut feelings conflict with thought positions.[6] The way I’ve heard this before is a bit different and called social acceptability bias: Respondents may tailor their responses to appeal to poll-takers, especially with in-person polls when a respondent wishes to be attractive to the opposite sex and tries to anticipate what opinions the worker will approve of and respond accordingly, or when a respondent in a in-person or phone interview holds a stigmatized view: Relatively few racists, for example, will admit to being racists—and many are in denial about their racism.[7] With Donald Trump’s paleoconservative and authoritarian populist appeal, this is a real problem, especially when race—as with the Trump University judge—is at issue.

Could social acceptability bias affect results by double-digit percentages? Absolutely. Is it having such an effect this time? It’s hard to know but it should not even for a moment be surprising if it does.

Juan Williams, “GOP sounds the sirens over Trump,” Hill, June 27, 2016, http://thehill.com/opinion/juan-williams/284939-juan-williams-gop-sounds-the-sirens-over-trump


  1. [1]Paul J. Davies, “The Real Reason ‘Brexit’ Has World on Edge,” Wall Street Journal, June 23, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-real-reason-brexit-has-world-on-edge-1466659805; John Harris, “‘If you’ve got money, you vote in … if you haven’t got money, you vote out,’” Guardian, June 24, 2016, http://www.theguardian.com/politics/commentisfree/2016/jun/24/divided-britain-brexit-money-class-inequality-westminster; Jim Tankersley, “Britain just killed globalization as we know it,” Washington Post, June 25, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/06/25/great-britain-just-killed-globalization-as-we-know-it/; Griff Witte, “9 out of 10 experts agree: Britain doesn’t trust the experts on Brexit,” Washington Post, June 21, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/9-out-of-10-experts-agree-britain-doesnt-trust-the-experts-on-brexit/2016/06/21/2ccc134a-34a6-11e6-ab9d-1da2b0f24f93_story.html
  2. [2]David Benfell, “The ‘Brexit’ vote may signify the end of the illusion of ‘progress,’” Not Housebroken, https://disunitedstates.org/?p=9023
  3. [3]Roberto Savio, “Brexit and EUexit,” Inter Press Service, June 25, 2016, http://www.ipsnews.net/2016/06/brexit-and-ueexit/
  4. [4]Wall Street Journal to Major Indexes Closing list, June 24, 2016, http://online.wsj.com/mdc/public/page/2_3022-usclosingstk.html; Wall Street Journal to Major Indexes Closing list, June 27, 2016, http://online.wsj.com/mdc/public/page/2_3022-usclosingstk.html
  5. [5]David Benfell, “Humans probably made it to North America prior to the Bering land bridge,” Daily Bullshit, https://parts-unknown.org/reading/2016/05/13/humans-probably-made-it-to-north-america-prior-to-the-bering-land-bridgedaily-bullshit-may-13-2016/
  6. [6]Roberto Savio, “Brexit and EUexit,” Inter Press Service, June 25, 2016, http://www.ipsnews.net/2016/06/brexit-and-ueexit/
  7. [7]I’m remembering social acceptability bias from a lecture given by Valerie Sue in a research methods class I took at California State University, East Bay, probably in Fall, 2003. Sue and I differ on methods: She labeled herself “quantitative girl” while I now (but did not then) prefer qualitative methods. I hope she might smile to learn that I still remember at least some of what she taught all those years ago.

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