Über Keynesian Bradley DeLong seems pretty unhappy in this Bloggingheads.tv diavlog, just as he does in his blog posts. In this clip he gratuitously slams liberaltarian Brink Lindsey for not being an economist and spouting economic opinions, as if he would apply this qualification to anyone who agrees with his assumptions (eg, Obama, Matt Yglesias, Ezra Klein), or that macroeconomists have demonstrated any reason for deference on these matters:
When I'm this grumpy I try to not to talk or write to people because I'm not effective at getting what I want. He's clearly in funk, perhaps because he wasn't invited to join the Obama administration in some major capacity, though with this performance he's just proving why that was a good move.
I'm generally pessimistic on the USA because our deficit is still unsustainable and regulations are only increasing, but I must say all this anger on the Left is making me feel better. Here's Kieth Olbermann telling his audience to get mad (clip starts at 8:41 so you get the key riff):
And then there was last weekend's 'Tea Partiers are terrorist' talking point, and Elizabeth Warren's angry exit. Anger is a sign of frustration, and signifies no greater wisdom or righteousness than when my 4 year old gets ticked off (no juice!). Perhaps the proponents of government growth feel they are losing because they really are? Perhaps they see that when legislators disappoint them the answer is not to get new ones, rather to reduce the size of government so these people don't have so much power?
I doubt it. I just think the second derivative on Federal spending has finally changed signs, and so in their minds the future will never seem as good as it did in 2008.
The Left (and the Right for that matter) is discovering that the world is quite different from what they assumed. The internet has shattered the institutions such as the mainstream media (especially the NYT) that were the maintainers and sustainers of the culture. Such institutions are critical to the stability and long-term survival of any society. We are in the beginning of the greatest social revolution since the invention of the printing press destroyed the power of the Catholic Church (see Clay Shirky "thinking the unthinkable"). The Left and Right are realizing that their days are numbered.
Nobody knows how this will turn out and what form the new institutions will take in the place of the old. So these episodes in which the Left or Right get testy or bare their teeth are going to increase as they come to the realization that as long as the internet is open they cannot survive. The danger is that they may actually prefer to destroy civilization rather than be out of power.
where do these loonies come from
The interesting thing is, the overriding impression I get of you and your blog posts is that you're angry about not getting a tenure-track academic position after finishing your PhD.
To the prior anonymous, that's a pathetic shot at Eric. We can judge Eric by the quality of his comments here, and my judgment is very positive. What's yours? He is right to poke holes in the bluster of these self-proclaimed sole arbiters of matters economic (and I have a phd in financial economics, but often find Eric knows a lot more than me...).
Would to tough to envision Eric in any "academic position." Imagine Faculty Club luncheons -- Eric plus 50 lefties -- the mind boggles.
My impression is Eric is too much of an original thinker to get far in academia. Too smart to churn out some third-rate DSGE paper that most macro phds think constitutes original thinking.
And he may also not wish to cultivate the schmoozing skills that might be necessary either.
charlie in a community college in texas
Good God, will somebody please slip a prozac into Delong's sippy cup?
If you think those guys sound angry, check out Jacob Weisberg's column from Friday's FT.
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