I was recently accused (by co-author Goonix) of becoming more libertarian over the past 2 1/2 years. Now I don’t agree, I think I am where I was in July 2007. However, it is evident that the particular focus of the blog has evolved since then.
Now as a starting point, my Nolan Chart in August 2008 (which was similar to where it was in July 2007) can be found here. How does it compare now?
So I was both more economic right and more socially liberal. Goonix was right …
Economic Left/Right: 1.25 (previously -0.88)
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.36 (previously -4.51)
Initially we said that the blog was focused on positive government interventions. We said these could take place when:
- “The most obvious role of government is to circumvent market failures, which are usually derived from externalities or excessive market power”
- “Government regulation and investment can be used to change the structure of the game that firms compete in, to the detriment or the benefit of society”
Now I don’t think the views of any of the authors have changed along these grounds. These grounds for government intervention still exist.
However, the general tenor of my posts on the blog has moved towards prescription and discussion of current world events – instead of careful transparent separation of the descriptive and prescriptive elements of any issue I aim to discuss.
I am disappointed with this shift in my own writing, and I think it stems from a determination to reach conclusions more quickly than I am previously accustomed to – something I was forced to do during the recent credit crisis.
My aim for this year: To move away from saying what we SHOULD do, and look at describing and framing what is happening.
The focus of the blog is wider then when we began. We criticise government more widely, because the government is more explicitly involved in trying to “fix” things then it was before the credit crisis. This movement in focus was captured in the discussion on this post.
However, my I aim to change my personal method for analysing these issues. Fundamentally, I aim to become less prescriptive, and move descriptive. Prescriptions will still be around, they will just be more clearly signposted. And describing issues still requires a multitude of subjective assumptions, I will just attempt to more clearly signpost them as well.