Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Degeneration of Bipartisan Blog Sites: Econbrowser

This is probably just a whiny complaint of well-known and long running issues.  Indeed for a long time most blog sites (not to mention most twitterspheres and Instogram Idiotspheres) have been mono-partisan in those who participate in their discussions/debates. This has been true for a long time for most sites in the Econoblogosphere, including this site, which clearly tilts "left," even though we have always been open to comments from a wide variety of views.

I have in mind here a particular blog site that I respect and have been spending a lot of time and attention at for some time. It is Econobrowser, initially set up by Jim Hamilton, now at UCSD, and a leading time-series econometrician, long viewed as a nonpartisan technocrat. Some years ago he brought in Menizie  Chinn of UW-Madison as a co-blogger, with Menzie becoming the main poster recently, with Jim H only rarely now posting or commenting on anything.

This site has been for some time now one of the few among higher level economics sites where people from different partisan positions have been regularly posting, reasonably intelligently.  It has been for some time tilting "left," as Mr. Apolitical Jim H rarely posts, with Menzie Chinn dominating the site.  He served for both both Clinton and G.W. Bush as staffer on the CEA, giving him a cred cover of bipartisanship, although since Trump came in he has clearly been negative on Trump.

However, various pro-Trump commenters remain there, of varying degrees of intelligence and credibility.  But as even as some of them have disappeared (oh, where are you, Peak Trader?), some still hang on, even as the site has become dominated by leftist liberals, with me and this site's pgl among the most active there.

But a bottom line here is that I do not wish to see the various misinformed and trollish right wingers completely disappear from the site.   For its all its flaws, Econbrowser remains one of the few sites where one can encounter people making arguments from a variety of paradigmatic perspectives, and I am glad that they have achieved this, and I encourage them to continue with this useful public good.

Barkley RoSser


2slugbaits said...

I completely agree. And this was really the (perhaps too) subtle "pike in a carp pond" point I was making in a recent comment over at Econbrowser in reply to poster JBH

pgl said...

Menzie does a nice job of presenting relevant economic facts. Alas the
mono-partisans routinely accuse Menzie of misrepresenting the data. When asked to present data to back up the claims from these same mono-partisans, they usually respond with some bizarre claims from the usual right wing sources. This kind of disinformation began about 25 years ago when Gingrich became Speaker of the House but has gotten much once since Trump became President.

Not Trampis said...

I agree Barkley but PGL is way too strident for mine.
Let stupidity been for what it is. No need to be snide my friend.

Can I add something else. I have read econbrowser more so because of Sluggsy's comments.
I have over time found them to ge highly educative.

Thanks mate