A very good post. On the specifics: relative to most libertarian economists, I am more likely to think — or should I say admit — that human beings are irrational, even when the stakes are high (see the self-deception chapter in Discover Your Inner Economist). But, relative to social democrats, I tend to think that politicians are irrational actors trying to pander to irrational voters and that it can’t be any other way. I am much less optimistic about democracy as an instrument for fine-tuning good policy or for that matter as a medium for enforcing progressive sentiments. On health care I don’t think the solution is to strip away insurance, a’la HSAs, so I agree with Ezra’s paragraph more than not. On The Wire, the defect is fully mine. I’ve watched seven or eight episodes, from seasons one and three, and I thought: this is fantastic. But I never really looked forward to the next episode and eventually I stopped watching. I have an inability to appreciate all things gritty, regardless of medium. I don’t enjoy Grapes of Wrath either, or for that matter Goodfellas. I wonder if needing a tinge of romanticism isn’t some kind of character weakness of mine.
Addendum: Kevin Drum comments on the last round.