Monday, December 2, 2002

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TWO STEPS FORWARD, ONE STEP BACK FOR BRAD DELONG: When Brad DeLong is talking about economic policy, he's the man. Even if you disagree with him, he's an intellectual force to be reckoned with. When DeLong switches to plain-old politics, however, he becomes a boring liberal.

For evidence of the former, check out this great link on how Zimbabwe is unintentionally highlighting the virtues of the Washington Consensus, and then this piece on the problems with NAFTA (not the one's you'd think).

For evidence of the latter, see this post gleefully contrasting Ashcroft quotes from 1997 and today. Now, the libertarian in me agrees with DeLong that Ashcroft is probably more sanguine about enhanced executive powers now because he's in the executive. However, the pragmatist in me simply cannot swallow DeLong's assertion that, "the world today is about as dangerous a place as it was back in 1997. The threat of international terrorism is of the same order of magnitude now as it was then." The heightened insecurity of a post 9/11 world does provide a justification for Ashcroft's flip-flop. That might not be his actual reason, but it's still a pretty good one.

posted by Dan on 12.02.02 at 12:30 PM