At least Knight hasn’t killed the UO Economics department,

1/10/2010: which is what Auburn booster Bobby Lowder did there. Alan Pittman of the Eugene Weekly has a great story, comparing Knight and Lowder. Pete Thamel of the NY Times follows up with this explanation:

A decade ago, Lowder’s influence over Auburn was silent but immutable. The university scuttled its economics program, a department dear to one of Lowder’s critics on the board of trustees.

Actually it was just their PhD program. But just in case, let me be the first to say that Phil Knight has created more good jobs in developing countries than Muhammad Yunus and Jeff Sachs combined. Sure, it’s easy for you bleeding hearts to call these sweatshop jobs – but compared to what? Even Karl Marx knew better, when he said people like Knight had “rescued a considerable part of the population from the idiocy of rural life.” That’s from the Communist Manifesto, professor. And have I mentioned how much I admire Howard Slusher’s efforts to free professional athletes from the reserve clause, so they could compete in a free market for higher wages? Inspirational. The irony is you probably think I’m being ironic.

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