Sunday, September 19, 2010

Thoughtful Conservatism

Some who follow this blog or who know me might describe me as a liberal. In a broad sense, this is correct. However, I remain very reluctant to limit myself, and I flatter myself that I cannot be easily pigeon-holed politically. Nevertheless, in order to be fair to “conservatives”, I recommend that collective reading list from the great site, FiveBooks. Here they aggregate voting to come up with the 47 (?) best books on conservatism. Unlike the nonsense that we’re hearing out on the stump today, if you read these books, you will receive a very useful education. Hayek, the Federalist, Burke, Toqueville, Garry Wills (a heretic makes the list!), Mancur Olsen, Leo Strauss, and others represent some very serious and worthwhile thinking.

Krugman & Brooks on Great Britain

Here’s a blog post by Krugman referring to a Brooks column. Krugman’s addresses the issue of Great Britain’s relative decline by a reference to a remark by Robert Solow, but the Brooks article considers a more explicit hypothesis. Nothing too special, but for Anglophiles, they raise interesting questions. Also, I’m now listening to Winston’s War: Churchill 1940-1945 by Max Hastings, which addresses Great Britain’s situation as a great power during the war. (This is a really interesting and insightful book, of which I must write more later).

Paul Krugman & Manhattan Transfer

In this blog entry, Paul Krugman provides a reminder of why I really enjoy his blog: here he includes a clip from Manhattan Transfer performing “Boy from New York City”. No particular reason, other than Krugman was in the City for the weekend. In previous posts, he’s included Monty Python clips, clips from “Dr. Strangelove” and this clip from a 70’s pop hit. Now I ask you, what economist can match this sense of humor while remaining our best Cassandra?