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The Quality of Progressive Scholarship Is Depreciating

Summary:
The mathematician Daniele Struppa – who is my dear friend and former Dean at GMU, and now President of Chapman University – sent to me the following e-mail in response to my letter on Matthew Desmond’s unhinged-from-reality argument that American capitalism is a direct descendant of slavery. In making his case, Desmond bizarrely described modern accounting practices as tracing their origins back to slavery. Here’s Daniele: John Mellis, in his “A brief instruction on how to keep…” [A Brief Instruction and manner how to keep books of accounts] from 1588, already introduced depreciation, so the comment that [Desmond] makes in his article about depreciation originating from the need to account for slaves’ diminishing productivity is another historically false statement. Comments

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The mathematician Daniele Struppa – who is my dear friend and former Dean at GMU, and now President of Chapman University – sent to me the following e-mail in response to my letter on Matthew Desmond’s unhinged-from-reality argument that American capitalism is a direct descendant of slavery. In making his case, Desmond bizarrely described modern accounting practices as tracing their origins back to slavery.

Here’s Daniele:

John Mellis, in his “A brief instruction on how to keep…” [A Brief Instruction and manner how to keep books of accounts] from 1588, already introduced depreciation, so the comment that [Desmond] makes in his article about depreciation originating from the need to account for slaves’ diminishing productivity is another historically false statement.

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Don Boudreaux
He is a professor of economics at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Previously, he was president of the Foundation for Economic Education.

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