SSU Students: Where You Are From
Jude Wanniski
April 2, 1998


Memo To: Prospective SSU students
From: Jude Wanniski
Re: 426 Registered Students

We're now well into the third full semester of Supply-Side University, and the student body continues to grow, topping 400 last week. We now have students in 43 states and the District of Columbia and in 26 countries other than the United States. The biggest surprise in the whole list is that we have 13 students registered from Indonesia. I attribute that to the fact that Indonesians are hurting badly because of the Asian currency problems, and that we have had a dialogue in our TalkShop about the source of the problem and possible solutions. I'm surprised we have only one student from all of Africa, in South Africa. If any of you have contacts with e-mail pen pals in Africa, perhaps you can pass the word along. We are getting an average of 1400 "hits" per day on the website, so there is a much wider spread of people around the world who are coming in to at least read the daily "Memo on the Margin." At the rate we are growing, I would not be surprised if the SSU student body was more than 1000 by September, with 3000 "hits" per day.

Those of you who are being serious students will get the most out of the experience. What you are getting is the same I got through the patience of Bob Mundell and Art Laffer, who spent countless hours with me ~ hundreds of hours from 1971 to 1977 ~ teaching me what they knew. They of course have differences with each other and more than 20 years later I have differences with both of them, as I have studied history and the classics on my own. The reason I do what I do is not only to repay my debt to these two gifted economists, but also because my political training tells me their work and mine will die out unless we are eventually successful in pushing supply-side economics back into the classroom. One of Laffer's students, Spencer Reibman, does have a class at Greorgia State, and Mundell still teaches at Columbia University although he is spending this semester at the University of Bologna in Italy. Before the Internet same along, I never thought I'd be able to have a chance of propagating the ideas beyond a tiny circle. The economics profession has such a vested interest n demand-side consumer economics that it still does everything it can to ridicule supply-side ideas. Most academic economists have little idea what they are ridiculing, thinking only that supply-siders are tax cutters who believe in the Laffer Curve which does not work, and a gold standard which belongs in the 9th century.

In every other professional field of endeavor, the state of the art has advanced. Medical doctors cure more people than they kill, telecommunications people have produced awesome advances, car makers produce more reliable cars, meatpackers pack healthier meat, etc. There are in the world, though, more poor people than there ever have been in the history of civilization. The reason is only partly to do with the fact that there are more people, so even a smaller fraction of impoverished people is larger in actual number than the world experienced 50 or 100 years ago. The fact is, though, that political economics was set back by the Wall Street Crash of 1929, as the Great Depression led the political universe to assume that classical economics was obsolete and that Keynesian and monetarist ideas were the wave of the future. If it were not for Laffer and Mundell and Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp the world would by now be spinning completely out of control. If the United States had maintained the inflationary slide it had been set upon by the demand-siders of the Johnson/Nixon/Ford/Carter years, I have little doubt that we would now be in the midst of worldwide depression and war, perhaps even nuclear war.

We're still pioneers, though. You first 400 are in on the ground floor of this unusual cyberspace school, which will change the way you think about things in ways large and small for the rest of your lives. Our objective, though, has to be nothing less than a permanent extension of these ideas around the world most immediately to those place of desperate poverty that can use them the most. The students here will not get diplomas, but they will get something far more important, the priceless knowledge of the way the world works. Those of you who learn what we are trying to teach about these intricate mechanisms will have enormous advantages for the rest of your lives over those who are getting diplomas in the economics of consumption.

Please note that Microsoft's Slate magazine has been my chief target in the cyberspace race. Bill Gates hired Michael Kinsley to run the magazine, and there is no one better at ridiculing supply-side economics than Mike, an old friend of mine, who was trained for his evil work at the London School of Economics. His chief international economist is Paul Krugman of MIT, whose cloven feet trample whole continents into poverty. Kinsley's chief domestic economist is Herbert Stein, who was at Richard Nixon's elbow, advising his foul advice, when Nixon doubled the capital gains tax in 1969 and when he went off the gold standard in 1971. There are other fiendish folk on the Kinsley team, but some are of the gentle sex, and I do not wish to embarrass them (at the moment). When Slate began, it was Kinsley's plan to have everyone in cyberspace under his spell by now. Bill Gates has given him several million dollars with which to buy cybersouls in Faustian bargains. So far, it has not gone so easily. We learned in the papers last week that a mere 17,000 people have signed up at the annual rate of $19.95. I can't say all of them are hopelessly gullible, as I forked over $19.95 to keep track of what Michael and his minions are up to. Maybe all 17,000 are doing the same.

Anyway, dear 426, here is where you are from. When we pass 1000, we will do this again.

SSU Students by Geographic Locations

Alabama 3
Alaska 3
Arizona 6
Arkansas 1
California 40
Colorado 3
Connecticut 6
Delaware -
D.C. 5
Florida 15
Georgia 25
Hawaii 2
Idaho 1
Illinois 22
Indiana 5
Iowa 2
Kansas 2
Kentucky 4
Louisiana 2
Maine 3
Maryland 2
Massachusetts 11
Michigan 9
Minnesota 6
Mississippi 3
Missouri 4
Montana 1
Nebraska -
Nevada 3
New Hampshire 1
New Jersey 20
New Mexico 2
New York 33
North Carolina 4
North Dakota -
Ohio 8
Oklahoma 2
Oregon 5
Pennsylvania 10
Rhode Island -
South Carolina 2
South Dakota -
Tennessee 5
Texas 33
Utah 2
Vermont 2
Virginia 17
Washington 7
West Virginia 1
Wisconsin 6
Wyoming -

Total: 426


Argentina 1
Australia 3
Belgium 2
Brazil 2
Canada 10
Denmark 1
Ecuador 1
France 3
Germany 2
Hong Kong 2
Iceland 1
India 3
Indonesia 13
Italy 3
Japan 2
Malaysia 5
Mexico 2
Philippians 1
Poland 1
Singapore 3
South Africa 1
South Korea 1
Switzerland 1
United Arab Emirates 1
United Kingdom 4
Venezuela 1

7 Locations Unknown

Total: 426