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April 17, 2007

Converted

Bruce Bartlett engages in some bloggy triumphalism over the sprawling economist coffee klatch his Supply Side article triggered over at Mark Thoma's place. I'm with him, though. One nice thing about the blogs is that they allow experts to speak about premises and background that more traditional outlets rarely let them engage. Magazine articles and newspaper op-eds always demand that you to advance the ball beyond what the editors know that morning, or published five years ago. That's great, but for many of us readers, it would be better to get a contextual explanation of things the expert learned 15 years ago. So while it's unlikely Bruce Bartlett could have sold anyone on a debate between him and Paul Krugman on what the Keynesians believed in the mid-70s, I actually found it very interesting.

Mark, by the way, runs a wonderful blog, and has really pushed to open it up to economists ranging from Bartlett to Krugman to Galbraith. Folks should be reading him, and by extension, them.

April 17, 2007 | Permalink

Comments

Yep, great blog at Mark's place - an Oregonian too! When he was early in his blog's life, I recommended that the Pacific Northwest Portal's coverage of OR blogs pick him up, which they did and I think gained some exposure. I like that he tends to reprint longish things from elsewhere, saving the jumps between sites when you are following the narrative. And people, including economists, junk their wonk-talk often, so a non-econ guy can follow along nicely.

Bartlett didn't quite declare victory in the NRO piece, but I think he seems to believe it.

Off Topic: On votes of 35-25 and 34-26, the Oregon House today approved historic bills that will prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and establish domestic partnerships.

The two bills are on the way to the governor (a Dem.), so Oregon can proudly say that we live up to our state's constitution and have made a big move to treat folks equally. The wingnuts will undoubtedly try to repeal these with a statewide proposition, but I think the bills will survive the usual dose of lies and scare tactics.

Posted by: JimPortlandOR | Apr 17, 2007 6:20:01 PM

Whoops! The two OR bills will go to the Senate first (where approval is expected). Sorry for the premature trip to the governor - but its coming....

Posted by: JimPortlandOR | Apr 17, 2007 6:22:51 PM

Well, Bruce Bartlett did key in those very words near the end of his (last?) post which most readers took as, you know, on that coveted ground of "sensible remarks"...not as plonking (type I or II).
Do I have to adjust my estimate of Bruce here after several exchanges (and many recreational interjections from other interested parties) that
"So I say to my fellow supply-siders, let's just declare victory and move on." is a statement that only
the Devil could have made him type?
C'est Plonking de Type II, non?

We think you are wonderful too Ezra.

Posted by: calmo | Apr 17, 2007 9:37:23 PM

That discussion is actually on going. In the process of responding to a little challenge on top marginal rates and the Laffer curve that I made Wayne Jett dropped this:

"Economics deals with human behavior, and the Laffer Curve considers the effects of taxes on human behavior. It is a subject that does not lend itself to mathematical precision."

Which if you examine it enough is actually admission that Supply Side is indeed self-confessed Voodoo Economics. Because frankly both Prof Thoma and Prof DeLong kind of like their economics with at least an attempt at mathematical precision.

Seldom does the Economic Right simply come out and reveal that their policy is well and truly based entirely on magical thinking, that the entire substance really comes down to "taxes bad". It took some goading but there it is.

"does not lend itself to mathematical precision."

Boy howdy.

Posted by: Bruce Webb | Apr 18, 2007 1:24:10 PM

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Posted by: judy | Sep 28, 2007 4:50:37 AM

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Posted by: judy | Sep 28, 2007 4:57:04 AM

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