About Me

I am currently an Associate Professor of Economics and Director of the Center for Markets, Ethics, and Entrepreneurship at Aquinas College.  I was previously an assistant professor at Ferris State University from 2014 to 2016 and at Troy University from 2016 to 2017.

I was born in 1987 in a small community just outside of Detroit, MI and grew up in this area, Akron, OH, and St. Louis, MO before finally attending high school in Brighton, MI.  After high school, I attended Hillsdale College where I was also a member of the track team.  Hillsdale proved to be a formative place for me, where I fell deeply in love with economics.  It was this deep love that basically led me to absolutely dread applying for "real" jobs because I was afraid I'd never get to talk about economics ever again.  Because of this, I probably didn't apply myself to finding a job as much as I could/should have.  Instead, I applied to George Mason University's MA program in economics as a way of simply prolonging the inevitable quest to join the ranks of the employed (graduating from college in 2009 in Michigan certainly lowered my opportunity cost significantly, but this is a terrible reason to go to graduate school!).

During my first year in the MA program, my roommate, Douglas Rogers, invited me along to play golf with Peter Boettke.  With only a vague sense of who this man was, I was free to speak my mind and argue with him about absolutely everything, including basketball and economics.  To be clear, I know absolutely nothing about basketball except that Michael Jordan is the greatest to have ever played the game, Kobe Bryant is a solid number two, and Lebron James is at best a distant third.   After 18 holes, Pete and I had had a lot of fun and he asked me why I wasn't in the Ph.D. program.  I didn't have an answer.  He told me to email him if I was interested in going that route and we'd go from there.  I did so later that week and was admitted into the Ph.D. program for the following fall.

While working towards my Ph.D., I was fortunate to have the opportunity to learn from truly phenomenal economists, such as Peter BoettkeWalter Williams, Donald Boudreaux, Richard Wagner, Peter Leeson, Chris Coyne, and Bryan Caplan.  I also had the pleasure of attending graduate school with Daniel SmithThomas HoganNicholas SnowWilliam Luther, Douglas Rogers (now deceased), and Alexander Salter, to name just a few.  This intellectual upbringing has heavily influenced my research agenda, which takes a distinctly catallactic approach to explaining the political world as the product of exchange and the institutions within which those exchanges take place.  If I had to name the four scholars who have most influenced my thinking in economics, they would be Ludwig von Mises, James Buchanan, Peter Boettke, and Richard Wagner.  My current research focuses on explaining why the US tax code grows longer, more complicated, and includes more loopholes each and every year despite the overwhelming majority of Americans wanting a shorter, simpler tax code with fewer loopholes.  Given that we live in a democracy, which is supposed to deliver what the majority of people want, it seems strange to me that the opposite is what we routinely receive.

Outside the classroom, I enjoy playing golf, finding new beers to try, sitting with friends at the local cigar shop, running, and spending time with my amazing wife and our son, Wesley.