NEWS AND OPINION:
Is there political diversity at Harvard University? Apparently not, according to an annual survey of faculty staff conducted by The Crimson, the school’s student newspaper.
“More than 80% of Harvard faculty respondents characterized their political leanings as ‘liberal’ or ‘very liberal.’ A little over 37% of faculty respondents identified as ‘very liberal’ — a nearly 8 percentage point jump from last year. Only 1% of respondents stated they are ‘conservative,’ and no respondents identified as ‘very conservative,’” the publication said in its own analysis of the findings.
A slim percentage — 16% — said they were politically moderate.
“When asked whether they would support increasing ideological diversity among faculty by hiring more conservative-leaning professors, only a quarter of respondents were in support. In contrast, 31% opposed hiring conservative professors to increase ideological diversity, while 44% of respondents said that they neither supported or opposed it,” the analysis said.
A majority of the faculty members were also uneasy with the idea that anyone who worked in former President Donald Trump’s administration join their ranks.
The survey found that 56% of the faculty would support “extra vetting” for any officials from Mr. Trump’s team, while 30% would bar former Trump administration officials from the teaching staff altogether.
The Crimson survey of 476 members of the Harvard faculty was conducted April 11-26 and released Wednesday. Find the survey at TheCrimson.com.
THE INFLATION NATION
Some fear the U.S. economy will revert back to the economic challenges of 45 years ago.
“Do you guys ever start feeling like it’s Jimmy Carter deja vu — and that that’s where we’re headed?”
That is what Fox News host Neil Cavuto asked Jared Bernstein, a member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers and an economic adviser to President Biden when he was vice president.
So what was the economy like during the Carter years?
“When Jimmy Carter took office in January 1977, unemployment had reached 7.4%. Carter responded with an ambitious spending program and called for the Federal Reserve (the Fed) to expand the money supply. Within two years, inflation had climbed to 13.3%,” says a helpful historical summary of the era compiled by the University of Houston.
“With inflation getting out of hand, the Federal Reserve Board announced in 1979 that it would fight inflation by restraining the growth of the money supply. Unemployment increased, and interest rates rose to their highest levels in the nation’s history. By November 1982, unemployment hit 10.8%, the highest since 1940. One out of every five American workers went some time without a job,” the report said.
Which brings us back to the current realities.
“After a red-hot, new 40-year high in the consumer price index, producer prices skyrocketed at near-record highs, increasing at an eye-popping 11.3%. Plummeting confidence in the economy, the most unpopular president in modern history, soaring inflation, and a looming recession — If you aren’t having Jimmy Carter déjà vu, you should be,” advised Tommy Pigott, rapid response director for the Republican National Committee, in a statement to Inside the Beltway.
MEANWHILE AT THE CONVENTION
“As a teacher, I attended the National Education Association convention last week, and my worst fears were confirmed. Public schools are no longer a safe place for families who hold traditional values or for families who believe gender (as in male/female binary) is biologically determined. It was also evident that the teachers union is a lobbying arm of the Democratic Party,” wrote Brenda Lebsack, a teacher and former school board member in an essay published Thursday by The Daily Signal, a publication of the Heritage Foundation.
“As I read the 70 new business items and 40 amendments of bylaws, legislation, and resolutions, and listened to the platform speeches, it was obvious the NEA only represents those who hold the same ideologies and radical leftist political views,” Ms. Lebsack said.
“From what I observed, the NEA’s goal is for public education to be a training ground for political activism, while demonizing anyone — including students and their families — who does not share those same political and sociological beliefs,” she noted, adding that half of the motions brought before attendees dealt with identity politics, social justice and “ways to promote the goals of the Democratic Party.”
THEY ACTUALLY AGREE
Do Republicans and Democrats agree on anything at the moment? Well, yes.
“An overwhelming majority of U.S. adults (90%) support planting about a trillion trees to absorb carbon emissions,” reports a wide-ranging Pew Research Center survey on climate issues.
“There is near consensus among both Democrats and Republicans in favor of planting large numbers of trees (91% and 89%, respectively),” the pollster said.
Another 79% of U.S. adults also were in favor of granting corporations tax credits for developing “carbon capture and storage technologies,” garnering 88% agreement from Democrats and 70% from Republicans.
The Pew Research Center survey of 10,282 U.S. adults conducted from May 2 to 8 and released Thursday.
WEEKEND REAL ESTATE
For sale: Edgemont Farm, built in 1796 on 572 acres along the Hardware River near Charlottesville, Virginia, design attributed to Thomas Jefferson. Eight bedrooms, eight baths, grand entrance and gathering rooms with classic historic murals; 4,836 square feet. Chef’s kitchen, brick walkways, multiple fireplaces, formal landscaping, lush fields; includes tennis court, pool, pool house, guesthouse. Priced at $19 million through McLean Falconer Inc.; visit listing website at HistoricEdgemont.com.
POLL DU JOUR
• 41% of U.S. voters would prefer that the Democrats win control of Congress in the midterm elections; 90% of Democrats, 35% of independents and 4% of Republicans agree.
• 40% overall prefer that the Republicans win control of Congress; 4% of Democrats, 34% of independents and 90% of Republicans agree.
• 19% either don’t know or refused to answer the question; 6% of Democrats, 32% of independents and 6% of Republicans agree.
SOURCE: A New York Times / Siena College Research Institute poll of 849 registered U.S. voters conducted July 5-7.
• Follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.