06 Mar 2009

Note to Self: Don’t Ever Let Brad DeLong Paraphrase My Views On An Issue

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All right kids, I promise I will leave Krugman and DeLong alone for a while after I get this one out of my system. But I couldn’t help from posting a snarky comment at DeLong’s blog in response to his ridicule of an NRO post warning of hiking taxes on the nation’s most productive people. If you’re curious, just go read the DeLong post and then you can see my comment which I reproduce below:

I am not defending the NRO stuff, but I did find it odd that Prof. DeLong changed what they said. Here’s DeLong’s intro:

“The most deserving and valuable people in America, according to National Review, aren’t our firefighters, police officers, nurses, soldiers, and teachers. Instead, they are our lawyers, bankers, executives, and top salespeople.”

But then if you read the actual quotation he gives–you don’t even need to click through, it’s right there a few lines below in the quote he pasted in–the actual NRO person wrote:

“The doctors, lawyers, engineers, executives, serious small-business owners, top salespeople, and other professionals and entrepreneurs who make this country run…”

Look carefully at how DeLong changed the list of professions that the NRO writer was praising. He took out doctors, engineers, and small-business owners, retained lawyers and top salespeople, and then inserted bankers.

In other words, DeLong took out all the professions in the original list that most Americans think are good, he left in all the professions that most Americans despise, and then for good measure DeLong added a profession that right now people can’t stand.

An interesting pattern.

UPDATE: Concerned that I am being too harsh on poor DeLong, I reviewed the post again and then made this follow-up comment:

Whoops in fairness to DeLong I concede that Schiffren mentioned people putting in long hours at banks, so she therefore is praising hard-working bankers. But even so, DeLong still took out all of the “noble” professions from the list that Schiffren originally gave.

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