The Mason-Dixon Line in Health Care Reform: Economists Edition

The WSJ Real Time Economics blog has posted the letters for and against the health care reform bill winding through Congress. The most interesting thing about the lists of signatories is the geographical divide. It was so interesting, I did a fast tabulation (so, don’t quote me on it), and what one finds is that of the list in favor, only 2 of 41 economists are affiliated with institutions in the South (defined using the most restrictive definition in this Wikipedia page — so to be completely accurate, I haven’t used the actual Mason-Dixon line). Of the 131 signatories to the against letter, 40 are affiliated with institutions in the South, i.e., essentially 30% of the total. A list of affiliations is below:

For:

  • Brookings
  • Harvard
  • Brookings
  • Brandeis
  • Stanford
  • Harvard
  • Princeton
  • Michigan
  • Syracuse
  • Brookings
  • Princeton*
  • MIT
  • Boston
  • Stanford
  • USC (Southern California)
  • MIT
  • Michigan
  • Urban Inst.
  • Michigan
  • Harvard
  • CUNY
  • Princeton
  • Harvard
  • UCLA
  • UCSF
  • Chicago
  • Princeton
  • George Mason
  • Chicago
  • Penn
  • Princeton
  • Harvard
  • UC Berkeley
  • Dartmouth College
  • Michigan
  • Harvard
  • Chicago
  • Emory
  • UC Berkeley
  • Center for Budget and Policy Priorities
  • Harvard

Against:

  • California State University, Northridge
  • Columbia
  • AEI
  • Hillsdale
  • AEI
  • U. Mich, Flint
  • Carnegie Mellon
  • Memphis*
  • Metropolitan State College, Denver
  • Virginia
  • Colorado
  • Baylor
  • Pacific Research Institute
  • California State University, Northridge
  • Robert Morris University
  • Menlo College
  • Western Kentucky
  • Hudson Institute
  • Univ. Wisconsin -Milwaukee
  • South Florida
  • Chapman
  • Alabama – Huntsville corrected 3/20
  • Odessa College (TX)
  • French, Wolf & Farr (Law Firm)
  • American Action Forum
  • Hillsdale
  • Towson
  • Baylor
  • Denver
  • California State University, Northridge
  • Chapman
  • Hillsdale
  • Econforecaster (N.Carolina)
  • Marquette*
  • Colorado*
  • Georgetown
  • Barton College
  • Georgia State
  • California State University, Chico
  • Northern Illinois
  • Pacific Research Institute
  • Michigan State
  • Arizona
  • Univ. Texas – San Antonio
  • Trine University
  • N. Carolina State
  • New Mexico
  • Montana*
  • Texas
  • Univ. South Florida
  • Institute for Research on the Economics of Taxation (Wash., DC)
  • Missouri
  • Mercer University
  • Franciscan University of Steubenville
  • Hillsdale University
  • Bellevue University
  • Michigan State University
  • AEI
  • Columbia
  • U. Mass Boston*
  • Houston
  • Missouri University of Science and Tech
  • UCLA
  • Carnegie Mellon
  • Emory
  • Classicalprinciples.com (Mich.)
  • Lipscomb (Tenn.)
  • North Dakota State
  • Brigham Young
  • Clemson
  • Idaho
  • Univ. Texas – Arlington
  • Wainwright and Co.
  • Center for University Studies (Texas)
  • Journal of Regional Analysis and Policy
  • Colorado
  • Missouri Southern State
  • Wake Forest
  • Ohio
  • Temple
  • Clemson
  • Delaware
  • Univ. Texas – Dallas
  • California State University, Long Beach
  • Institute for the Research on the Economics of Taxation
  • George Mason
  • Univ. Missouri – KC
  • Kennesaw
  • Alaska, Anchorage*
  • Indiana Wesleyan
  • N. Carolina State
  • AEI
  • Minnesota
  • Chicago
  • Metropolitan State College of Denver
  • Clemson
  • Chicago
  • FRB Atlanta*
  • Univ. Texas – Dallas
  • Northern Illinois
  • AEI
  • Cornell
  • Chapman
  • California State University*
  • Univ. Illinois – Chicago
  • Duke
  • Center for Health Policy
  • Nevada
  • Metropolitan State College, Denver
  • Wayne State
  • Robert Niehaus, Inc.
  • Penn State
  • Penn
  • Louisiana State
  • Cornell
  • Duquesne
  • Montgomery County Community College (PA)
  • Texas A&M
  • Colorado at Colorado Springs
  • Univ. Texas – El Paso
  • Central Michigan University
  • University of Denver
  • SUNY – Buffalo
  • UC Irvine
  • Toledo
  • St. Cloud
  • Printing Industries of America
  • Ball State University
  • Mississippi
  • Iowa
  • Univ. Missouri – St. Louis

Where * denotes emeritus or retired or former status. I used the postal address for the institutions such as consulting firms, journals or think tanks, to determine geographical location.

I’ve excluded Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland, Delaware from the definition of the South; using the more expansive definition [0]raises the ratio to 45/131 = 34.4%.

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46 thoughts on “The Mason-Dixon Line in Health Care Reform: Economists Edition

  1. don

    So, the letter was apparently not presented to Mankiw at Harvard. And who was the traitor at UCLA? The list should be weighted by the RePEc rankings.
    An interesting post. Reminds me of the attorney in DC who once said “that’s where I learned about economists,” recalling a case in which both sides hired prominent expert witnesses. Such displays draw into question the worth of the profession, not unreasonably.

  2. Mark A. Sadowski

    Menzie,
    First of all Delaware is most definitely South of the Mason-Dixon line. The marker is within walking distance of my house (to the North of course).
    Second, I can assure you that excluding Delaware from the definition of the South is completely unnecessary. The University of Delaware has without a doubt the most reactionary department of economics in the country with the possible exception of George Mason University. Despite its modest size an amazingly abnormal number of our economists signed both the letter endorsing McCain in the 2008 presidential campaign and the Boehner letter opposing the discretionary fiscal stimulus.
    I am, alas, a Roosevelt Democrat and an all but dissertation PhD student in economics at UD. Thus they elected not to allow me to teach Macro despite the fact it was my specialty (they were in mortal terror that I would mention the concept of “unemployment”) and they eventually took me off teaching altogether because of my well known reality biased views (despite having a 4.6/5.0 on enthusuasm and a 4.0/5.0 on effectiveness in my teaching evaluations).
    Stacie Beck is, frankly, and for lack of a better word, a “fascist.” (I’m sorry if somebody finds this description offensive. And not only that, she’s an appallingly bad instructor.) I once considered her for my dissertation advisor before I came to my senses.
    Despite all of the above statements I am a proud “Suthener” and I eat my hominy grits with butter and pork fried collard greens daily.

  3. Barkley Rosser

    The signer at GMU might have been one of the economists in the Public Policy department, which has quite a different ideological orientation from the economics department.
    Mark,
    What? It is my understanding that the eastern boundary of the Mason-Dixon Line corresponds with the boundary of Delaware. Thus, Delaware is, well, northeast of it. Of course, Delaware was a slave state, so in that sense it was part of the South. It is my understanding that in the Civil War, the northernmost county sided with the Union, the southernmost with the Confederacy, while the middle one was up in the air.
    UD is hardly the most “reactionary” department in the country. GMU is certainly far more “pro-laissez faire,” assuming that is what you mean by “reactionary.” There are certainly some strong conservatives and free marketeers at UD, such as William Poole, but there are others who would fit more on the progressive side, including the two chaired profs there, Ken Lewis and Lawrence Seidman.

  4. Mark A. Sadowski

    Barkley Rosser,
    No, your understanding is wrong (at least on this point). We have a Mason Dixon Trail which runs through White Clay Creek Preserve just South of the Northern border of Delaware but North of where I live (Hockessin).
    Laurence Seidman is one of my field advisers and an extraordinary exception. (I have great respect for him as well as his virtually unknown book on the USA Tax). Ken Lewis, well versed in econometrics, works closely with him but I would not necessarily classify him as a liberal.
    On the other hand, what about Burton Abrams and Jim Butkiewicz? I like both very much personally but Abrams pats himself on the back (probably with good reason) for the “Abrams effect” (smaller government equals faster growth). Butkiewicz is (theoretically at least) my current dissertation adviser. He, at an economics “happy hour” the day before Lehman went under, advised me to buy AIG stock. The day after I assured him I would no longer look to him for stock picks. I can think of many more names but you should get the picture.
    How on earth do you know so much about our largely unrecognized (probably deservedly so)department!?!

  5. Mark A. Sadowski

    Barkley Rosser,
    Another point on what is Southern, I once taught High School mathematics in Cumberland County New Jersey (Bridgeton High). I can assure you there is a Deep South in of all places New Jersey where they will ask you if you want “Earl” in your sandwich, and they don’t mean the guy out front pumping gas.

  6. Mark A. Sadowski

    GNP,
    In most places in the South, “oil” is pronounced “earl” more or less.

  7. Barkley Rosser

    Mark,
    I just checked, and oficially the Mason-Dixon line is the Pennsylvania-Maryland boundary plus the western boundary of Delaware, but not its southern portion (or its semi-circular northern border).
    I gave a seminar at UD not too long ago. It is a diverse department, with some impressive individuals, such as David Stockman, and people of a variety of views. I would defend the professionalism and competence of the people whom you identified as being more conservative. Indeed, everyone I encountered was very nice and fully competent. The one exception was the chairman, who deserves to be fired.
    Regarding the boundary of the “cultural south,” it is indeed a matter of speech and the main part of the Mason-Dixon line between PA and MD does mark it. So, run it east, and one gets this piece of southern NJ that is southern. Run it west and one indeed finds southern speech in southern Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, with Missouri bisected, before it all kind of all fades out in the West. In the 1920s, the HQ of the KKK was in southern Indiana. In Joel Garreau’s “Nine Nations of North America,” Indianapolis was a triple divide point between “Rust Belt,” “Breadbasket,” and “Dixie.” For sure.

  8. Mark A. Sadowski

    GNP and B.R.,
    Just to be clear, I’m not gay, I’m not a cannibal, and I think it would be unsanitary in any case. I really do want “earl” (don’t you?) in my sandwich but what I mean is “oil”. Haha.

  9. bryce

    Mark Sadowski,
    You confuse me: Roosevelt was at least as fascist as socialist in his approach to the economy in the 30s. Indeed, “liberals” of the 30s admired Mussolini & were open to Eugenics. Yet you describe yourself as a Roosevelt fan & then criticize someone as a fascist.
    Are you presently a fan of the fascist co-mingling of corporate & gov’t interests implicit in Obama’s bailing out of AIG, GoldmanSachs, BoA, Fannie, Freddie, GM, Chrysler, etc?

  10. Fred Thompson

    Mark,
    I live at the nether end of the country and, aside from once having a former student, Ken Koford, teach there prior to his untimely death, have never had anything to do with your department. Nevertheless, it sounds like you have a first rate faculty. The work of William Poole, Burton Abrams, and Lawrence Seidman are well known to me, for examples.
    Of course, you may recognize Barkley Rosser as the editor of JEBO.

  11. Mark A. Sadowski

    Barkley Rosser,
    I’m honestly shocked to discover the truth about the Mason Dixon Line. Thank You.
    However, local folklore about the line is that it is akong the trail that passes through Elk Neck State Forest, then on to Iron Hill Park in Delaware, north along the Christina River and White Clay Creek to the White Clay Creek Preserve. The trail then heads northeast to its eastern terminus at Chadds Ford, PA on the banks of the Brandywine River. Mason and Dixon’s survey markers litter the trail with the “crownstone monument” at the triple point of DE, MD and PA being an important tourist destination. People around here honestly think that that’s the Mason Dixon Line, but clearly we’re ill informed (or, perhaps, willfully ignorant).
    Furthermore, whereas Northern New Castle County is a fuzzy place culturally, anyone South of the C&D (Chesapeake and Delaware) Canal usually identifies themselves as a Southerner. In fact Delaware South of that line is usually referred to as “slower” Delaware (pun intended of course).
    And lastly, part of our best forgotten past is that we were once a slave state and our criminal punishment system included such institutions as the whipping post.
    I’m sorry I missed your seminar. I’ve seen your comments here several times.
    Other than Beck (Menzie cautioned me concerning my comment about her to no avail and I’m about to elaborate on that a little bit) I don’t think I said anything derogatory about anyone at the department that I specifically stated were conservative. As I implied I hold most of them in rather high esteem. I just openly (and strongly) disagree with their politics.
    My problems with teaching asignments in fact relate specifically to the department head (Saul Hoffman) you allude to. Interestingly I was discussing what we refer to as Hoffman’s “inauthenticity problem” recently with a colleague. I’m curious why you hold him in such low regard but if you feel it’s unprofessional to comment further I’ll certainly understand. On the other hand what you’ve said so far is pretty damning.
    David Stockman is an absolutely brilliant taskmaster but is impaired by generally poor people skills. I took mathematics for economists with him and received a 67% on the midterm and a 49% on the final. Those were the highest grades in the class. The class averages on both were in the 20 percent range.
    He usually responds to classroom questions with “wrong, wrong, wrong” or by standing still, staring at the chalk board while the veins bulge on the sides of his neck. Consequently he is rather unpopular and somewhat ineffective as an instructor although (perhaps oddly) I personally have no real complaints about him. To my knowledge he never talks about politics and it never impacts his teaching. But I doubt anyone who is simultaneously that brilliant and yet severely flawed could survive in any other department.
    bryce,
    When I say “fascist” I mean “oppressive”, “intolerant”, “chauvinist”, etc. all concepts that are at least loosely inspired by the ideology of actual fascism. Beck has a particular political agenda that she is fairly ruthless in pursuing, and that has several elements in common with that particular ideology. I think you will have a hard time proving to me that Roosevelt or that the philosophy of liberalism have much in common with fascism.
    It sounds like to me you’ve swallowed hook line and sinker the humorless ideological nonsense of Jonah Goldberg, author of “Liberal Fascism”. The book reads like Google search gone mad turned into a comic-book alternative universe. Some fascists were vegetarians, some liberals are vegetarians, therefore liberals are fascists. Some fascists were gay, some liberals are gay, therefore liberals are fascists. Fascists cared about educating children, Hillary Clinton cares about educating children, therefore liberals are fascists etc. And yes the book is well footnoted. So what. Get a grip.

  12. Mark A. Sadowski

    Fred Thompson,
    Thanks for reminding me about William Poole. Shortly after the financial crisis erupted in September 2008 our department had a presentation by Poole, Butkiewicz and a member of the finance department in our largest auditorium on campus. They all denied that any of Bush’s policies had contributed to the financial crisis. It essentially turned into a Republican political rally with an extended applause at the finale. Needless to say I did not participate in the applause.
    It saddened me that our department participated in such a blatant political act on the eve of the election.
    Ken Koford died the Spring I returned to the university (2005) to study economics. Unfortunately I don’t recall ever meeting him.
    And excuse me for my obliviousness, but I did not realize Barkley Rosser was the editor of JEBO.

  13. Sybil Bullock

    The list of Alabama as against healthcare reform is misleading: It lists one professor of Finance from the University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH) which the smallest of 3 schools in the University of Alabama system and mainly an engineering school.
    The primary schools in the system: University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa and University of Alabama in Birmingham (the Medical School is located here) have more than 3/4 of the students enrolled in the system and are not represented in the letter.

  14. Johannes

    Menzie, Mark and B.R.,excellent post about the Mason Dixon Line.
    Now I know : econbrowser.com is really worth to read as even oil-earl and geography is fully included.

  15. MPO

    Just a note, but using the “reality based” quip is profoundly arrogant.
    “In most places in the South, “oil” is pronounced “earl” more or less.”
    No. When you hear “oil” pronounced as “earl” in the United States you will almost certainly be in certain regions of the south. “Most” people in the south, however, do not pronounce it in any such way, and in a large portion you’ll never hear it pronounced thusly.

  16. Robert Bell

    Mark A Sadowski:
    “In most places in the South, “oil” is pronounced “earl” more or less. ”
    That’s hardly an explanation for why would anybody want oil on their sandwich.
    But as long as we are talking Delaware dialect (I have moved to Wilmington three years ago), have you noticed the mysterious movement of the letter l? For example, I’ve heard people say “I sawl it” or “drawlings”, but when the snow is falling it’s “code” outside, and “ode” folks live at the retirement home.

  17. Barkley Rosser

    Mark,
    I shall not comment further on members of the UD econ department, although if we ever meet, we can discuss the chairman. I miss Ken Koford, for whom I had a lot of respect and knew personally for a long time. He served as editor of the Eastern Economic Journal for an extended period, and did a good job at it.
    The fact that the southern boundary of Delaware is “open” regarding the M-D line makes it ambiguous, although clearly we understand that Delaware is/was the archetypal “border state.”
    As for pronunciations, more frequently in other parts of the South, the word is pronounced more like “awl.”

  18. Julian

    Robert Bell
    That ‘l’ sounds like the West country of England. Bristow was so mispronounced that it became Bristol. Perhaps many citizens of Delaware are descendants of intrepid Somerset souls who embarked at the great port of Bristol some three centuries ago?

  19. Mark A. Sadowski

    To all who bothered to listen,
    I enjoyed this little rant about all things Delaware. And I have to say, although I was born here, I’m a Delawarean both academically and residentially by choice. (In case anyone’s wondering I’ve actually seen much of the outside world and was even an undergraduate at Chicago for a time.) Both our state and university have an amazing amount to offer despite their small, cozy, size. (I still am wrapping my mind around the concept of Vice President Joe Biden. I taught mathematics at Archmere Academy, his other alma mater, for a semester.) That’s why we trumpet the “Small Wonder” motto.
    I’m naturally given to raging sarcasm as well as the occasional self deprecatory remark (in this case concerning both my state and department). But I often wish I was not in the minority politically at my department. If it were not for the likes of Laurence Seidman, Michael Arnold, Joseph Daniel, and most of all, our super-Democrat of a department secretary, Deborah Sharpley (who is just super in general), I think I would lose my sanity (if I haven’t already).
    And I have to say “here, here” is response to Johannes. I’ve learned a great deal from reading and commenting in Econbrowser (even about my own state).
    P.S. An interesting anomaly, that has not been mentioned, is that Delaware (outside the economics department at UD) is a very “Blue state” despite it’s mostly Southern culture. Some of this is a holdover from before the political realignment of the post-Johnson era. But some is due to the fact that our politics is just unusually progressive despite our past. On the other hand we are the home of Bill Roth and Pete DuPont and Steve Forbes’ daughters attended St. Andrews School, so go figure. This is in keeping with our generally idiosyncratic nature.
    P.P.S. My own research (as yet unpublished of course) has some results that support the “Abrams effect.”
    P.P.P.S. I suppose I should mention, apropos of the fact that this is JDH’s and Menzie Chinn’s website, our department’s point of pride is in fact our competence in econometrics.
    P.P.P.P.S. Has anyone noticed how longwinded I am?

  20. Mark A. Sadowski

    MPO, Bell, B.R. and Julian,
    I think you are all on to something with regard to the linquistics of Delaware. (Note: I’ve received precious little formal education in linguistics, so take it easy.) We do something odd with “l”. And, I think there is something very distinct about the frequent gratuitous and/or exagerated “r” [what I like to call the "pirate r", which is suitable because Lewes, Delaware was a pirate hangout in colonial times] found in Delaware, and I suspect it is common to the whole Chesapeake region. (Our unique pronunciation of the word “water” with its “t” shifted to “d”, clipped “e” and heavy “r” is often cited as an example.) It is probably due to heavy immigration from the West country of England during the colonial era as Julian suggests. That’s how you know someone’s truly from Delawarrre.
    P.S. MPO, sorry if you found the “reality” quip offessive but in truth I meant it to be. In the interest of not sounding too arrogant, I’m very much guilty of having character flaws just as I’ve accused some of my department members.

  21. Cedric Regula

    Mark A. Sadowski
    On the “pitate r theory”, I’ll point out that Blackbawd The Pirate hung out in Boston Harbor. But in land locked Northern Philly, everything either ends with an R, or has extra ones in the middle somewhere.
    Also, I knew a guy from Indy, which I’ve just discovered is in the south, and here there is a different peculiarity in what Is are for. They are Es! He always wrote with a “Pin”.

  22. Mark A. Sadowski

    Cedric Regula,
    I’ve been to Southern Indiana and I can vouch for what B.R. claims. It’s the Alabama of the Midwest.
    Aye, Boston may have had “Bluebawd”, but legend has it that Captain Kidd buried a chest of gold in the Cape Henlopen sand dunes near Lewes during a visit in 1700 on his way to the West Indies. We’re still looking for it. Arrrr!
    Pirates were such a problem in early (circa 1700) Delaware that a law was passed requiring all citizens to own a musket and ammunition for protection from raids. Not that such a law in lawless early Delaware was really required.
    I can’t explain how the “pirate r” travelled as far North as Northern Philly. Maybe somebody else knows something about the demographic/linguistic history.

  23. Barkley Rosser

    Mark and others,
    There is a spectrum in the South on the pronunciation of “oil.” In many places it is between “earl” and “awl,” something more like “awrl.”
    For most of the 20th century, Delaware was one of the most reliable of swing states, along with Missouri, almost always going with the winner in presidential elections. In the last two decades or so it seems to have shifted over more solidly to the Dem column, although not as fully so as some states.
    Regarding the UD dept. chairman, let me just add that my unpleasant remark was not directed at his scholarly work, which is perfectly respectable.

  24. Mark A. Sadowski

    I just finished talking with an old school (Sanford School) buddy of mine. He has very old ties to the area and his grandmother was a member of the Chambers family who had extensive property ownership in the White Clay Creek area and consequently the Chambers name is attached to a great many local landmarks (roads, bridges etc.) He assures me that the Mason-Dixon Line is along the Mason-Dixon Trail and that whatever the “experts” say is completely wrong.
    I don’t disagree with what Barkley Ross is saying but I just want to let you know what you’re up against. Folklore is a powerful thing.

  25. Barkley Rosser

    Mark,
    Keep in mind that the Mason-Dixon Trail does not run along the Mason-Dixon Line anywhere, except by accident. Starts on the Applachian Trail in Western PA north of the line, goes east to the Susquehanna, then down the west shore of the river to south of the line to Havre de Grace, MD. Then it picks up on the other side going east into the areas you describe. Its location says nothing about what is or was the line.

  26. Robert Bell

    Mark:
    “Both our state and university have an amazing amount to offer despite their small, cozy, size.”
    We are now officially way off the original topic, but as a relatively recent arrival, let me second your plug for the First State. It’s an entirely reasonable place – easy to get around, nice beaches, good place to raise kids, really tasty crab cakes, pragmatic governance, and easy to travel to Philadelphia, Baltimore, NYC and DC.

  27. Mark A. Sadowski

    Barkley Rosser,
    [I don't know if the previous message went through or not because my browser is acting up.]
    (I’m sorry about the lost “er” previously it must have been lost into the “TV’osphere.”)
    Obviously, I am referring to the Eastern portion of the Trail.
    After thinking about the question I’m thinking that Wikipedia does not have all the answers. It could be that the Mason-Dixon Line lies where the people who live near it think it lies.

  28. Mark A. Sadowski

    Robert Bell,
    Yes you’re right, we might as well call it the “Deleware is a *mighty* small state” post. Nevertheless why not let some people know how deprived they truly are. The “Darwin Awards” works both ways.

  29. Barkley Rosser

    Mark,
    It is not just Wikipedia. Look at any source on the history of the Mason-Dixon line. Indeed, the first part that was surveyed was the north-south line that separates Delaware from Maryland, the origin of the push for the measurement being made by the Penn and Calvert families disagreed on this part of the boundary. King Charles I had given land grants to both families, but with unclear borders, with the Penns being given what is now Delaware and eastern shore Maryland. It was this part of the boundary that was most hotly disputed, and Mason and Dixon appropriately measured it first.
    BTW, although I do not know, I would lay odds that this popular line in the park is not a straight east-west line (nor a neat arc like the northern boundary of Delaware). Indeed, in one history I read it specifically noted the confusion that arose after the Missouri Compromise of 1820 that specifically cited the Mason-Dixon line as the boundary between the slave and free states, given that in fact Delaware is not on the “southern” side of the boundary but was a slave state, the matter of ambiguity that triggered this disussion in the first place.

  30. GWG

    Perhaps what this shows is that there really are regional differences in preferences for the size of government. And since the 10th ammendment has been eviscerated, which allowed a greater degree of local autonomy, I fear for the future of our Republic. Tyranny of the majority, on both sides of the politcal spectrum, will now become the norm.

  31. GWG

    Perhaps what this shows is that there really are regional differences in preferences for the size of government. And since the 10th ammendment has been eviscerated, which allowed a greater degree of local autonomy, I fear for the future of our Republic. Tyranny of the majority, on both sides of the politcal spectrum, will now become the norm.

  32. Mark A. Sadowski

    Barkley Rosser,
    When I said Wikepedia I was being somewhat facetious. I don’t disagree with your historical analysis of the matter.
    The Delaware portion of the Mason-Dixon Trail does meander a bit. It is not perfectly on the “arc” (the only nominally circular state boundary in the United States) although it runs just along it. Here’s a somewhat crude hand drawn map of the entire trail:
    http://www.masondixontrail.org/images/Maps/MD_Trail_map.jpg
    I’m not very familiar with the other portions of the trail but I can vouch for the existence of Mason and Dixon’s survey markers on the Delaware portion.
    While we’re still on the subject of Delaware folklore, although the Delaware Colonial Assembly declared itself separated from both British and Pennsylvania rule on June 15, 1776, the local heresay is that Colonial Delawareans were regarded as such rabble (being descended from pirates and so on) that Pennsylvania was more than happy to see its “Lower Counties on the Delaware” go.

  33. Mark A. Sadowski

    Well it’s official. It’s the F-bomb heard round the world. You can even get T-shirts and bumper stickers:
    [deleted for content - MDC]
    Just think how boring the White House would be if Obama had picked Evan Bayh to be VP (for example). Then we wouldn’t be memorializing major federal legislation with profanity laced clothing.
    As they say in Delaware, “just let Biden be Biden.”

  34. Texas Reader

    I went to Baylor, majored in economics there, and am DISGUSTED to see economists there opposing health care reform. With all Jesus’ admonitions about taking care of the poor, I don’t know how they can go against this bill.

  35. Eric Margolis

    I don’t think anyone noted it so far but Arizona should definitely be considered below the Mason Dixon line — even if it didn’t become a state till long after the Civil War. Besides exploited Pima cotton pickers and exploited copper miners, we produced John McCain and Barry Goldwater.

  36. Leonard Witt

    Why not look where each individual received his or in the few cases her Ph.D. I did a cursory look. These are not necessarily southerners, just people teaching at southern universities. Of course, if the university is located in a conservative region of the country its students and faculty probably will be more conservative too and thus be more inviting and likely to hire like minded people. By the way, on each side there were only a handful of women signatories. What does that tell us?

Comments are closed.