I found Felix’s ode to the blog to be more than a little amusing. I will, however, correct his mistaken assumption that the comments are unmoderated here. They have always been subject to moderation. I have never pretended otherwise.
I check back here for the first in months, sick of the negativity and the thinly-veiled attempts at conceiling post-moderation behind subjective “rules”. And what do I find? Still, 9 out of 10 posts are negative, and nearly that many are self-congratulatory. “Thousands come to hear what I have to say”. Oh, please. Your writing is so terrible, serving only to assuage your own insecurities, that some of us visit only periodically to see if you’re still on the internet. Your blog has became so played, so utterly formulaic and predictable (1. find some person enjoying their 15 minutues of fame 2. mock them and point out that they will never be successful, never be president, etc, 3. lather rinse repeat). The only thing you could write that would be interesting and uplifting for most of us is a suicide note!
His statistical infelicities notwithstanding, I can’t honestly say Felix is all wrong. The vast majority of the blog posts are negative in some way, but then, I am a reasonably sophisticated economics observer and we are in the early stages of a very large scale economic contraction. I’m still pointing out pretty much the same thing I’ve been pointing out since the spring of 2008, the difference is that now people like the Governor of the Bank of England are saying exactly what I’ve been saying, even if their prescriptions are very different than the ones I would suggest and are doomed to failure. Drat, there’s that negativity again!
But what else can I say? Either economic policies will work or they won’t work, and in the case of the UK’s latest quantitative easing, it won’t work, just as all the other proposed fixes didn’t work, and for much the same reason. What, I wonder, is there to be positive about in the world these days? The so-called Arab Spring? The woeful collection of Republican presidential candidates who won’t even talk about the real issues at hand? The death of Steve Jobs? I suppose I could write long and cheerful posts about how my soccer team won its last game, how good the salmon that Spacebunny made last night was, how the Vikings are going to turn it around, or how pretty the long-legged young girl who was selling her services on the suburban street in broad daylight at noon in Spain was – bloody hell, that’s a negative economic indicator too – but happy substance-free pop culture isn’t my idiom.
The main reason this blog is predictable is because I am a) consistent and b) usually correct. And the reason I am usually correct is because the behavior of human beings tends to fall within a small and relatively predictable range. Most people are not only idiots, but the particular form their idiocy takes tends to be predictable. Look, the moment a powerful banker or politician proposes something that is actually viable, I’ll be pleased to say so. But until one does, I will continue to be negative and subsequently proven correct.