Saturday, February 27, 2016

Dying in the Last Ditch, Or the Final Refuge of the Damned: The Ad Hominem Attack and Academe

I was thrilled that my colleague Reynold Nesiba emailed the following regarding my recent op ed, "Are We Going to Steal from the Poor (Again)?." Apparently, he bcc'd a bunch of friends/acolytes on the message, as a form of posturing. As in, "I am not afraid of this guy and I can prove it by showing you all that I emailed this ridiculous message to him." Of course it is just an ad hominem statement ... an attack on me rather than my argument. My op ed shows that it is perfectly rationale to borrow small sums for short periods at "high" rates of interest when the total cost of borrowing, in dollars, is less than some other penalty, e.g. a late fee on a parking ticket, a bounced check, a late fee for rent, etc. Professor Nesiba can't dispute that but he can call me names. While his response might seem more typical of an elementary school playground bully than a professor, it is actually quite common behavior in academe when people have much at stake. I like to call it dying in the last ditch. We can't well expect Prof. Nesiba to admit that his usury policies are wrong when he spent all that time cajoling people into signing his petitions, so he resorts to calumny.

The irony of the whole thing is that while he was making his ad hominem attack, I was in an archive in Florida working on my 18th book, Jim Crow Finance. See the registration form below. Nesiba has publicly admitted that he has not read my corpus, even the books that I gave him copies of, yet he purports to know my arguments and evidence and can characterize them in a single broad generalization. Perhaps if he was more widely read and published he would have a more nuanced and sophisticated view of the world? He certainly wouldn't have the time to send such silly emails. Just because one has the academic freedom to do something doesn't mean one ought do it. But like I said, he had to lash out because there is no rational retort to my op ed.

Just wait until I hit him with the evidence of the utter failure of his minimum wage law!