Day: October 1, 2018

Dept. of Wonkery: NIMBYism and Vietnam Syndrome

Part of the point of this blog is to give me license to talk about whatever interests me, so welcome to the first memo from the Dept. of Wonkery.

Wandering among the flotsam that’s left after my workday writing assignments are done, I often pick up stray bits of economics, public policy, and foreign affairs and tack them down together in ways that seem cool. I’m that guy who makes weird driftwood sculptures in his yard, except that the driftwood is current affairs and the yard is this blog. I invite you to drive by and take a look from time to time.

One bit of flotsam this week comes from a magisterial and much needed essay in The Economist called “The Economist at 175, reinventing liberalism for the 21st Century.” It’s a call to reclaim the reforming zeal that lead to women’s rights, free markets, free trade, social mobility, and democracy. In other words, all the good stuff that seemed inevitable during those heady days between the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and September 11, 2001.

Ever since I started subscribing to The Economist last year, I’ve been cheered by it. It’s a haven of crisp prose and clear thinking in an age lacking both. But it can also be a shrill voice in defense of economic development at all costs. (more…)