Friday, March 26, 2010

An Appeal to Better Natures

. Friday, March 26, 2010

Given his infrequent, never productive, hit-and-run appearances on this blog, I was amused by this:

DeLong, true to form, ignored the content and jeered like a third grade bully. Most sadly, whenever he indulges this habit, DeLong sacrifices a chance to teach a little economics. Fortunately, the web is a big place and there are plenty of alternatives for readers who care about ideas.

True. The problem is that when DeLong is on, he's really on. Like when he maps the intellectual evolution of certain economic principles in time in ways that link history, sociology, politics, and economics. He's got a better sense of the history of political economic thought of anyone in the blogosphere (that I know of, at least). Or when he really gets down to business and parses macro. He's great at that, and so he can't be ignored. He simply has too much to offer. It's worth plowing through 20 of his "everyone who disagrees with me and/or doesn't have a PhD in econ is Satan" posts a week just to get the one or two golden ones. But it is tiresome when he steps on his bully pulpit, paints his opponents in the worst possible light, and neglects every opportunity to disseminate his knowledge to his audience in favor of demagoguery.

On his best days he's a moderate, with a pragmatist's technocratic sensibility. On his worst days he's a sophomoric would-be Beltway assassin, and therefore has nothing to contribute. I'd love to see more of the former and less of the latter.


An Appeal to Better Natures




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