Speaking of thumbnails, Lapham’s Quarterly, and the WSJ…

(Wall Street Journal for those of you in Rio Lindo.)  An opinion piece there today caught my attention for its seemingly left-wing, liberal slant.  (Correct me if I’m wrong but, fair-and-balanced reporting aside, I believe the WSJ has a conservative, pro-capitalism bias which I consider to be logical and reasoned.)  Opinion Pages are just that however.

Front page of the first issue of The Wall Stre...
Front page of the first issue of The Wall Street Journal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was somewhat shocked to find a socialist piece in the WSJ and wrote a friend (HeWhoShallNotBeNamed, HWSNBN for short, my mentor and advisor in all things literate, logical, and sometimes economic).

The opinion piece is  WSJ.com – Opinion: Diamond and Saez: High Tax Rates Won’t Slow Growth* (Via the previous link this article will be available to non-subscribers of the Online Journal for up to seven days after 24 April 2012.  You can also try this link: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303425504577353843997820160.html?mod=djemEditorialPage_h or surf for reproductions elsewhere, but the specifics are not important to me here.)

As the title states, contrary to the common free market economic opinion of many, the jist of it is that you may be able to raise taxes on the rich to a certain extent without stifling economic growth.

I asked my friend:
“How do we expect the country to get off welfare addiction when we keep feeding the habit?
I ask myself almost daily just when was it decided that almost EVERYTHING must be taxed?”

HWSNBN’s reply:
“Do you expect logic and reason from professors?
I made the mistake of not reading about the writers first, before the article–something I always do in Laphams.
If Economics was a simple issue (Economics in One Lesson) it would not create the need for so many professors to write and dissent (publish or perish).”

The authors:
Peter Diamond and Emmanuel Saez.  “Mr. Diamond is professor emeritus at MIT and a Nobel laureate in economics. Mr. Saez is a professor of economics at UC Berkeley and a John Bates Clark medalist.”

Ah, THAT explains or implies a lot to some of us.  A BERKELEY professor (left-wing academia by general reputation) and a Nobel Laureate in economics, ‘perhaps’ the likes of Paul Thugman, I mean Krugman.  (Once upon a time the likes of Freidrich Hayak and Milton Friedman were Nobel laureates in economics.  Times have changed.)

It’s not the details of the article that I want to discuss.  It’s my friend’s reply “I made the mistake of not reading about the writers first, before the article–something I always do in Laphams.”

He is referring to the fact that items in Lapham’s Quarterly name and have a few sentences about the author at the END of the piece.  You often don’t know who the author is until you get to the end.  I have found this disconcerting as I too want to have a context for what I am reading but have tried to refrain from looking to the end first, assuming that L.Q. must have a reason for not informing you at the beginning.

More importantly do we bias our own reading by needing to know beforehand who is writing an article?  We don’t read novels without knowing the author.  We usually read them because we know the author.  We have expectations but without being informed we could spend a lifetime sifting through literary garbage.

I’m sometimes anxious to get to the end of a Lapham’s piece to find who is the author and  I may not be as attentive.  I think I’ll try looking at the author’s info first and then reading the article.  Perhaps Lapham’s would ponder the placement of thumbnails at the beginning.

Since we must keep our sense of humor as it may be the only thing we have left, here is something that occurred to me recently.  I sent HWSNBN a quote:

“If everything seems under control, you’re not going fast enough”—Mario Andretti.

His reply:

“Mario is a RACIST!!”

Have a great day.

3 thoughts on “Speaking of thumbnails, Lapham’s Quarterly, and the WSJ…

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