Sunday, November 20, 2011

Statements that I violently disagree with

From Tyler Cowen via Scott Sumner:

Congratulations to Matt Yglesias on his new gig. He’s arguably the best progressive economist in the blogosphere, which isn’t bad given that he’s not an economist. I said “arguably” because Krugman’s a more talented macroeconomist. But Yglesias can address a much wider variety of policy issues in a very persuasive fashion. So he’s certainly in the top 5. His blog is the best argument for progressive policy that I’ve ever read. (But not quite persuasive enough to convince me.)

Now do not get me wrong: I post a lot about Matt Yglesias because I think that he is a fine thinker and has some really nice points to make. But there is now way he is competitive to be the top progressive economist in the blogosphere. I can't claim to be an expert but, off the top of my head, I have have:

Noah Smith
Paul Krugman
Bradford Delong
Mark Thoma

Plus the Worthwhile Canadian Initiative folks occasionally drift into progressive territory and are always worth reading. And this is just off the top of my head and including blogs I read regularly. Again: the provocative policy thinker with good ideas and a solid grasp of economists label definitely applies to Yglesias. But I find him a very odd choice for #1 given the alternatives. If anything, I find him awfully centrist on economic matters, at times (which, I suppose, could explain the appeal).

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