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A Tech-Econ Mashup with a Libertarian Flavor

An Open Letter to the Economist

SIR – Over the last several months, each issue has dutifully contained the most up-to-date news and developments in the global financial crisis and its fallout. However, I’ve noticed that each story seems to follow the same form:

  1. “Global markets slide into recession”
  2. “Falling home prices/rising unemployment/dried-up credit is hurting ordinary consumers.”
  3. “The bankers on Wall Street prospered – or did they?”
  4. “Massive government intervention was unavoidable”
  5. “It was clear that something had to be done, but it’s not clear we did the right thing.”

You realize that your publication is called The Economist, right? Far be it from me to tell you how to do your jobs, but did you ever consider trying to figure out what the right course of action would be? Have you thought of offering alternative economic policy proposals? You are supposedly the experts. That’s strongly implied by the title of your magazine. It isn’t Journalists Writing About Political Economy. You don’t even have to take one side or the other – it would be acceptable to provide multiple analyses that reach different conclusions using various assumptions (although, one can argue that if you’re willing to throw your undivided support behind a presidential candidate, it’s not too much to expect you to express support for a single policy).

Look, I don’t mean to be harsh. I love your magazine, really. And that t-shirt you sent me when I subscribed, the “Think Responsibly” one? – it’s nice. And yes, I know that economics is a discipline where hindsight is 20-20 and foresight is legally blind. All I’m saying is that I’m a little tired of your so-called experts declining to offer up any concrete analysis or solutions for getting out of the most severe recession we’ve seen in decades. I was with you when you tepidly supported – without any real rhyme or reason given – the massive bailout of Wall Street. I figured your team of professionals would have more expert knowledge than I received with my bachelor’s degree in economics. But since then, you’ve become the print equivalent of a cable news channel, conflating mere “coverage” with “informative analysis.”

Grow a backbone.

Respectfully submitted 2/14/09.

A/N: Yes, I really sent this. Also, happy Valentine’s Day, readers!

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Filed under: Economics, Politics, , , , ,

4 Responses

  1. Derek says:

    That’s a great letter …. ever considered writing one to the MSU Reporter? ; )

  2. Dan Smith says:

    hahahahahahahhaha

    Speaking of cable news channels, why don’t you address more important issues, like what is your diagnosis on Jessica Simpson’s weight fluctuations? jk 😉

  3. Libby says:

    Hey there! I keep meaning to write an op-ed in which I condemn the praise and hero-worship for socialist revolutionary Che Guevara that our generation continues to lay on him. Perhaps the econ club will look to it?

  4. Libby says:

    Jessica Simpson’s weight may be explained by the tendency for women put on the pounds during tough economic times – and men apparently find that attractive. I wish I could remember where I recently read that. It was on the internet, so you know it’s true. 😉

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Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect.
-Mark Twain

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