Monday, July 7, 2008

More misleadingness from the pressure to write with "good style"

When celebrated Princeton Economist Paul Krugman in his column today wrote:

"Yet even liberal economists have a hard time arguing that Mr. Bush’s cluelessness actually caused the poor economic performance on his watch. Tax cuts didn’t work, but they didn’t create the Bush bust. So what did?"

I really wish he would have emphasizes the "on his watch", and noted that the diversion of over one trillion dollars away from investment and into consumption, of yachts, mansions, super luxury automobiles, and other consumption goods, from the Bush tax cuts will cost American economic growth greatly in the future.

Krugman probably didn't explicitly mention this because he though it would clunk up the flow and "focus" of his writing. As I've said many times, sadly, so much learning is sacrificed and misunderstanding created because of the pressure to write with what's considered good style. Although, in this case, Krugman also justifiably places a high priority on having his writing be entertaining, so that more people will read it, and he will thus be able to convince more people to support good things. And, smoother writing is usually more entertaining to read. It's something that should definitely be considered if you're trying to optimize the amount of good you do, although it's only one of many factors.