Friday, April 10, 2015

Thomas J. DiLorenzo, the League of the South, the MPPI and one of its (former?) directors, Larry Hogan

In an earlier post, I referred to the Maryland Public Policy Institute as composed of not a few “crackpots.” Maryland's own Governor has been on the MPPI Board of Directors, which suggests we have a closer look at, yes, the "crackpots" who have been given op-ed space in the Baltimore Sun:

Let's begin with Thomas J. DiLorenzo, with a former allegiance to the League of the South (see below). DiLorenzo is (0r was) an economics professor at Loyola University Maryland and is (or was) also on the MPPI Academic Advisory Board. Professor DiLorenzo is the co-author with James T. Bennett of a book entitled: CancerScam. Amazon’s own review of this book states (emphasis added):

“According to James T. Bennett and Thomas J. DiLorenzo, authors of Cancerscam, smoking can be good for society, if not for the smoker. Consider all the money the government could save, for instance, on social security if millions of people die young from smoking-related illnesses. Much of Bennett and DiLorenzo's book is taken up with their argument that the government's campaign against smoking is intrusive and unwarranted. They liken smoking to other hazardous choices such as skydiving or skateboarding and point out that there is no national campaign to educate practitioners of these activities. They then launch into an attack on the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society, which they accuse of diverting funds into an antismoking program run by a left-wing public interest organization. Cigarette manufacturers and major stockholders in tobacco companies will love this book; those who deal with the medical, social, and personal fall-out from smoking, on the other hand, will find little to agree with here.”

A favorable review in the Wall Street Journal (excerpt conveniently posted at Amazon) states:

"The biggest Washington scandals often involve taxpayer money earmarked for causes no one could object to, such as cancer research. That immunity from criticism often means that taxpayers see their money diverted to politics and puffery, with few tangible results. CancerScam is the first effort—and a brave one—to expose this outrage."

Neither of these reviews mentions that DiLorenzo billed the R.J. Reynolds tobacco company $30,000 for his part in writing the book. The funds were passed through the Atlas Economic Research Foundation. [See Source below].

This may not make DiLorenzo out to be a crackpot - just a Ph.D. for sale. But there is, sadly, more:

DiLorenzo is (or was) a researcher for the Ludwig von Mises Institute, which is a spin-off from the Heritage Foundation. DiLorenzo often speaks at Mises Institute events defending the “Jeffersonian” secessionist tradition.

DiLorenzo’s preferred term for the American Civil War is “War to Prevent Southern Independence.”

DiLorenzo has written extensively in support of the Southern states right to secede, here is an example:

“If the war was over the central government's "right" to destroy the right of secession, which both Abraham Lincoln and the U.S. Congress insisted, then the South was in the right, according to both Rothbard and Acton. One need not defend or glorify the Confederacy in order to arrive at such a conclusion.”

DiLorenzo has spoken at events sponsored by the League of the South, but subsequently has walked back his association with this hate group’s agenda by stating he does not formally endorse their program, forgetting that in 2005 DiLorenzo did endorse the League, stating that it "advocates peace and prosperity in the tradition of a George Washington or a Thomas Jefferson."

DiLorenzo has written a book entitled: Lincoln Unmasked: What You're Not Supposed to Know About Dishonest Abe - in which he attacks a cabal of mostly unidentified historians for ignoring “facts” about Lincoln that DiLorenzo claims to have either unearthed or given, at long last, their proper weight.

Publisher’s Weekly, in a review posted at Amazon, called DiLorenzo’s Lincoln book “a laughable screed” and concluded: “at the root of the author's loathing of Lincoln is an ideological commitment to states' sovereignty.”

All of this got Mr. DiLorenzo into the Baltimore Sun as a credible opinionator.

What probably got DiLorenzo a position with the MPPI is his view that “healthcare freedom” won’t be restored until “some states begin seceding from the new American fascialistic state.”

Anyone want to defend this crackpot? or the Baltimore Sun for giving him a megaphone? or the Maryland Public Policy Institute for including him among their roster of academics?


DiLorenzo billed tabacco company for writing CabcerScam: “Thomas DiLorenzo” entry at

DiLorlezo as a Mises Institute speaker: See his profile at the Mises Institute.

On DiLorenzo’s description of the American Civil War as the “War to Prevent Southern Independence” as well as his statements in support of secession: An Abolitionist Defends the South.

On DiLorenzo’s endorsement of the League of the South: The Dreaded 'S' Word

On DiLorenzo’s appeal for states to secede so as to avoid the Affordable Care Act: American HealthCare Fascialism

On DiLorenzo published in the Baltimore Sun, see 2010 Sun op-ed - Writers Don’t Understand How Markets Work.