Modifiers Matter

Via the Political Fix:  Spence’s college degree? Economics, yes, but of the home,

Republican Dave Spence, the plastics guru running for governor, says he "earned a degree in Economics" from the University of Missouri.

That may be true — but it is not entirely accurate.

According to the university, Spence’s degree is not in economics. It is in home economics.

The school says that Spence majored in family economics and management — also called consumer economics —which earned him a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Home Economics in 1981.

Details, details.

(Seriously though, did he think that no one would check?)

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, US Politics,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. They give degrees in Home Economics?

  2. Just nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Sure, how would you get home economics teachers without them?

  3. Tillman says:

    Let’s not diminish the honor of the Home Economist. We are above that.

  4. An Interested Party says:

    Let’s not diminish the honor of the Home Economist. We are above that.

    Yes, but let us completely diminish the dishonor of deception, especially when it is practiced so stupidly, as in this case…

  5. Jenos Idanian says:

    Shades of “Cornell” alumnus Keith Olbermann…

  6. grumpy realist says:

    Hmmm. I hope it’s better than the guff we were forced to undertake in high school under the rubric of “Home Economics”, which consisted of “learning” how to bake brownies and use a sewing machine. All those of us who had gone through 4-H yawned our heads off; the course did at least teach those who didn’t already have some cooking experience how to boil water.

    Actually, the history of what used to be called “domestic engineering” is pretty fascinating. The fact that we have linoleum on our kitchen floors, use standard measurements like cups, “teaspoons” and “tablespoons” in cooking, and have useable kitchen layouts can be directly traced back to researchers such as Ellen Swallow Richards and the Galbraiths.

    I however can’t think of what would be taught in a present day “home economics” college program……

  7. sam says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    They give degrees in Home Economics?

    Maybe he’s a classicist…

  8. JohnMcC says:

    Actually not an easy major, back when I was at college. Organic Chemistry and – yes – economics were some of the required courses. Doesn’t excuse the candidate, of course. But IOKIYAR.