Economics Blog Redux?

by robekulick

For some reason, in the last few weeks I’ve gotten a few comments on my blog despite the fact that its been dormant for the last year and a half. It sort of made me realize that I miss writing about economics but there is a problem…

So upon logging into WordPress for the first time in a long time I noticed two things that upset me. First of all, the format is totally different than I was used to. Although I realize that I should expect that, I’m really not happy about it. It’s sort of a stupid thing to note, but the reason I mention it is that it leads to the real purpose of this entry.

I just re-read the “letter to prominent economists” that I had up on my blog that I looked at again for the first time in a long time. So the most obvious thing one MIGHT suspect was wrong with the “letter” is that it was a blatant  attempt to increase blog readership at a time I was trying to do that. The thing is I make NO apologies for that. I mean I got Brad DeLong to respond to my blog a few times and that was a lot of fun. It of course should be noted that nobody other than a graduate student would care about Brad DeLong responding to their blog, but it was pretty cool at the time.

Also, to be honest, anyone who writes a blog wants attention, so a device for getting attention which semi-works isn’t really something I regret.

So why am I disowning the “letter” and, even worse, discussing so many feelings when there are obviously so many far superior blogs for the consideration of feelings? Well the reason is that since I’ve actually learned more about economics, the real issue is that the idea behind the “letter” was really the wrong direction to go in.

The economics that people are exposed to from blogs really has nothing to do with what one actually does when they study economics. There’s good reason for that because what we actually do in economics these days involves a lot of math and, more importantly, a lot of nuanced reasoning. Nuance isn’t something that the economic pundits I was trying to emulate really deal in so that leads to the main problem with my letter. It was a request for nuance from people who shouldn’t be expected to deal in nuance. Also, it was a plea from someone who didn’t know enough math to have the economic logic explained in a way where we could really evaluate the content of what people were arguing.

There’s a lot to say about all of this that I hope in the future I can begin to explain. Also, because I’m doing a lot of research I’m really excited about I don’t know how frequently I’ll be able to blog. But I really miss all of you who actually read this thing and quite frankly I miss writing words as opposed to equations so I’m going to try blogging again on a less frequent basis. But what I really hope to embrace in my blog from here on out is NUANCE. Its a hard goal to achieve because it often asks us to question things we fundamentally believe  in. But, with nuance and modesty my hope is that I’ll at least help myself to make economics a useful tool in my own evaluation of the world. Maybe it will work for you too?

Anyway, I hope the “letter” is heretofore deleted. For the 4-5 of you who read this and look at the blog please let me know if I accomplished this.