DeLong Smackdown/Monday Worth Reading: Dan Kervick and Matt Bruenig

Critics… well, probably better to call them “friends” have pointed out to me that last summer I didn’t spend enough time linking to Dan Kervick’s and Matt Brunig’s contributions to the Piketty debate. I remember reading them at the time. And I cannot figure out why I didn’t focus more on them — save probably because both seemed to me to be thinking along the lines I was thinking along, I didn’t think that there was much new there. But usually I am anxious to promote people saying things that I think are smart and right, so it is a puzzle…

Anyway: some from Dan Kervick:

And some from Matt Bruenig:

More generally, if you like intelligent takes on modern economics coming from the terrain of philosophy, Dan Kervick is the kind of thing you will like:

And so is Matt Bruenig:

And let me add several other recent Bruenig posts:

Two decades ago, it seemed to me that the people whose writings crossed my desk fell into three groups:

  1. Smart people who knew stuff, could write well, and had something to say…
  2. People who might have been smart and known stuff a couple of decades ago — but maybe who were just lucky — and who were now resting on their laurels and entrenched in their positions…
  3. People whose principal qualification was a willingness to go the extra mile to indulge the prejudices of their bosses and funders…

And then there was the overlap between groups (2) and (3), of which we shall not speak…

One of the promises of the coming of the internet would be that the entrenched position that allowed people of type (2) to flourish and the limited number of megaphones that allowed (3) to flourish would be creatively destructed, and we might actually have something more like a democratic meritocracy of ideas.

But this requires that we be less lazy, and spend more time promoting young, new, smart, hard-working, insightful people and less time promoting people who we are in the habit of reading because they started a good weblog sometime in 1998–2005…

It was Felix Salmon who, most recently, reminded me of our — and my — intellectual ossification here:

Felix Salmon: To all the young journalists asking for advice….: “I spent a long time paying my dues at a series of very dry publications….

…[That] constituted a very high-level education in debt capital markets…. [So] when I found myself blogging the credit crisis, all that education paid off in spades…. I pretty much just happened to be in the right place at the right time… when the blogosphere was basically happy hour at The Magician…. Nouriel Roubini decided that he needed a full-time blogger at almost exactly the same time that Euromoney decided that it couldn’t afford… me…. That gig… lasted long enough for me to get noticed by Jesse Eisinger…. Obviously, that kind of career path isn’t replicable…. It doesn’t matter how good you are at what you do, your success, in this industry, is always going to be governed in large part by luck…. There’s no particular reason to believe that the advice I’d give five or six years ago, which was basically ‘start a blog and get discovered’, still works. With the death of RSS, blogs are quaint artifacts at this point, and I can’t remember the last time I discovered a really good new one…

And I realized that the same was true for me…


Originally published at www.bradford-delong.com.