Planet Money

October 2, 2009

I have to thank Thomas for introducing me to the Planet Money podcast from NPR, because it provides evidence for something that I really, really want to believe. Namely, that most of the time, when people disagree with me, our disagreement isn’t a normative, but positive, matter. To put it less charitably, that if people who disagree with me knew what the hell they were talking about, they’d be agreeing with me instead.

My fondest Planet Money memory so far came just after Obama announced the new tire tariffs. I was bracing myself for the standard journalistic “some economists say tariffs are bad, but some say they are necessary” treatment, but was pleasantly surprised to hear the announcer say, “You know, this issue is, for us, like climate change. NPR issued a memo a while back saying that we’re not going to get the opinions of climate change skeptics anymore, because the science is settled. It’s pointless to try to give listeners a ‘balanced’ set of opinions on tariffs when an overwhelming majority of economists agree that they are a terrible idea. They are a terrible idea.”

It’s enough to bring  a tear to my eye.

So, listen to Planet Money. It’ll make you smarter. Which means you’ll agree with me more.


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