David R. Henderson asks

This is from the comments and in the context of the financial market bailouts:

"Why aren’t you free-marketeer crusaders screaming your heads off?!"

My answer is that I have been. Reporters have interviewed me about it and sometimes they report my "screams" and sometimes they don’t. Re Tyler’s blase response, I’m reluctantly coming to the conclusion, after having read his site almost daily for over a year, that Tyler is not a free-market crusader. He’s a first-rate economist, but his passion seems to be almost solely about the analytics rather than the policies.

Am I wrong, Tyler?

I would note a few points:

1. I have very much favored the "bailouts" to date.  I don’t favor that they were necessary but of course that latter attitude may or may not be libertarian in its derivation.

2. My tone stems from my personality, namely that I rarely get mad.  And in any policy debate, I don’t assume that the people on my side intellectually are somehow morally superior or more honest.  In any particular case I usually give that 50-50.  It’s also worth noting that perhaps we shouldn’t judge partisanship from tone, just as we shouldn’t judge linguistic fluency from the quality of a person’s accent (which we tend to do).

3. A good blog should be subversive and help you see the faults in the author’s own positions.  Ask whether the blogs you are reading in fact provide that service.  Self-subversion ought also, in the long run, to benefit liberty and other important values.

4. I think very often in international terms, so I see even most left-wing Americans (e.g., Ezra Klein) as having a relatively similar world view to my own.  Why focus on the local political conflict when so many presuppositions are shared?  When it comes to all-important questions about "how should we live?" it may well be that Ezra and I are pretty close together.  We should attach greater value to those commonalities of perspective.

5. I am very libertarian compared to the American center but moderate compared to most libertarians.

I am not sure I have answered David’s question.


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