I am the William E. Simon Professor of Economics and Public Policy and Director of Economics at Hillsdale College, and President of Hillsdale Policy Group, a consulting firm specializing in taxation and policy analysis. I was a member and former Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Lake Superior State University, served as a member of Michigan's State Board of Education from 1993 to 1999, was Chairman of the Headlee Amendment Blue Ribbon Commission and have been a member of the Michigan Enterprise Zone Authority, the Michigan Strategic Fund Board, and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority Board. My public policy experience includes serving as Congressman Nick Smith's Chief of Staff, Michigan’s Deputy State Treasurer for Taxation and Economic Policy under Governor John Engler, and Senior Economist to the Republican Senate in Michigan. I graduated summa cum laude from the University of California at Santa Barbara. I received my Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley and have taught at several colleges and universities, including Mount Holyoke College, The University of Michigan, and Washington State University. I am a regular contributor to Human Events and the blog at www.hillsdale-econ.com. My publications include Towards a Free Society: An Introduction to Markets and the Political System, and several works on public policy issues. I was named Hillsdale College’s Professor of the Year for 2004. Michigan Runner Magazine also named me one of the top 25 runners in Michigan of the past 25 years.
Taxation; Higher Education; K-12 Education; Telecommunication Reform
Favorite class to teach:
Introduction to Political Economy. I devised this class as part of the Munson Chair when I came to Hillsdale in 1989. The theme song for the class is Tom Petty’s “You Don’t Have to Live Like a Refugee.” Students learn why the economic system of market capitalism creates extraordinary wealth for the mass of society and why central planning must result in poverty. At the end of the class, students will have learned both to see and observe, not having to take at face value what they read and hear in the media.
What is your favorite student success story?:
One of my advisees came here with less than stellar scores in high school. I told her she would have to work hard just to stay at Hillsdale, since most of the students she would be here with had a higher ranking in their high school classes. She took my warning to heart, worked very hard (and also joined a sorority and took advantage of college life), and graduated with honors in biology.
What do you like best about Hillsdale College?:
I enjoy teaching, and Hillsdale College is a great place to be a teacher. The administration supports teaching, the students are here to learn, and we have lots of opportunities to reach outside of the classroom to engage in teaching through our Hostels and Freedom Forums.
What advice would you give to prospective students?:
Find a place that is interested in you and where you will feel comfortable. Be sure that the faculty cares whether you learn the subject. Choose a college that has a mission that it follows with dedication and that is consistent with your beliefs. Once you have chosen your college, attend it with enthusiasm. Participate in intercollegiate athletics, orchestra, student plays, etc. This is probably the last time in your life you will be able to do this.
What do you like best about the students at Hillsdale?:
Students care about things. They care about learning. They care about their fellow students. They care about their professors, parents, siblings and friends.