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In 1960, the Thomas Jefferson Center of the University of Virginia applied for a “massive” grant from the Ford Foundation. Although Buchanan, Nutter, and Coase had all received grants from Ford, it turned down their proposal because of the Center’s unified “point of view.” The chapter examines correspondence and private discussions of the events. Following the submission of their proposal, Buchanan, Nutter, and then-President of UVA Edgar Shannon met with representatives of the Ford Foundation, Tom Carroll and Kermit Gordon. Buchanan concluded that the “reaction of the Ford representatives must be considered to have been almost wholly negative.” The crux of the matter, in Gordon’s assessment, was the TJC’s supposed “single” and dogmatic “point of view,” an ideological perspective purportedly in line with early 1960s Chicago-style economics. Buchanan and his colleagues attempted to dispel this conclusion, arguing that the program focused on market activity as it reflected social consensus. Coase was particularly incensed by allegations of dogmatic ideological narrowness since he had close ties to the socialist Fabian Society.
the ideological spectrum. Buchanan wrote against Hayek’s evolutionary efficiency claims as well as efficiency claims in rational expectations theories. Hayek’s endorsement of the “liberal dictator” provides the background for Buchanan’s concern with anti-democratic elements of the Mont Pelerin Society. The demise of the Soviet Union has obscured how controversial Nutter’s NBER work was. In the early 1960s, a principles of economics textbook labeled Nutter’s results, reported in Hazlitt’s Newsweek column, as biased. Nutter and Rostow, who differed politically, agreed in their analyses of Soviet growth that Russian culture persisted in spite of the transition to the Soviet Union. Tullock’s long-standing friendship with Popper was critical for the early Virginia School’s analytical egalitarianism in which the motivation of the economist is no different than the motivation of those in the economist’s model. This speaks to ideological motivation. Tullock held that, since economics did not enforce replication, it lacked standing as science and was instead akin to a “racket.”