Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Bartlett on Bloggers

Syndicated columnist Bruce Bartlett, a senior fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis, began writing about blogs and bloggers in a column two years ago, and his observations have become an annual exercise for him. His latest piece on what he calls "the most interesting new Internet phenomenon" appeared in the Commentary pages of Wednesday's Washington Times as "Upward blog mobility."

In his first jab at the subject two years ago, Bartlett pointed to Andrew Sullivan, Matt Drudge, and Mickey Kaus as examples of journalist-bloggers, and mentioned that several magazines, including The American Prospect, National Review, and Reason, had started blogs.

Last year, he focused on academics who had begun blogging, noting Brad DeLong of the University of California at Berkeley, Eugene Volokh and Steve Bainbridge of UCLA, Glenn Reynolds of the University of Tennessee, Steve Antler of Roosevelt University, and Tyler Cowen and Alex Tabarrok of George Mason University in Northern Virginia.

In his latest column, Bartlett hones in on the many bloggers in the fields closest to his own interests: economics and tax policy.

Among the tax-policy bloggers he cites are Paul Caron of the University of Cincinnati, James Maule of Villanova University, Daniel Shaviro of New York University, and Kerry Kerstetter, a CPA.

In the broader field of economics, Bartlett mentions a joint blog produced by George Mason University's Donald Boudreaux and Russell Roberts. He calls Daniel Drezner of the University of Chicago "indispensable" on the topic of international trade. Bartlett says that Andrew Samwick of Dartmouth College is "must reading" because of his expertise in Social Security privatization.

Bartlett also holds some bloggers in high regard, despite their being on the opposite side of the policy-wonk fence from himself. He says the best of these is Kevin Drum of Washington Monthly magazine.

Bartlett concludes by saying that he believes "the Internet has barely scratched the surface in using blogs to analyze and disseminate information. I look forward to their continuing evolution."

By the way, Bartlett is too modest to mention he has his own blog.

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