Bryan Caplan  

The Anti-Hack

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Jane Galt ably defends my co-blogger against the charge of hackdom, and raises an important challenge in the process:

If the word "hack" has never come out of your lips (or keyboard) in public reference to someone on your own side, you have no right to use it about anyone; for your tolerance or your ideological compatriots, and more often, your approbation for their less-hackish work, has made their guilt yours.

Unfortunately, Jane's challenge is a bit too challenging. I'm said to be blunt, but even I don't want to make up a list of libertarian hacks. Let me therefore propose a substitute challenge: Name some (living) non-hacks - thinkers you deeply respect - who deeply disagree with you.

I'll go first. I nominate Bill Dickens.


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COMMENTS (10 to date)
Randomscrub writes:

I nominate David Schraub (of http://dsadevil.blogspot.com/). We've had, and continue to have, the occasional online debate, but he's an honest and fair intellectual opponent.

Daniel Klein writes:

Thomas Schelling, though I'm not sure how deep the disagreement would be. He has been described as a conservative Democrat, and I am very libertarian.

Schelling is a very unusual case. I'd say that having good judgment in political economy entails being broadly libertarian.

Good judgment is not the only thing, and Schelling is so strong in other respects.

Javier writes:

I would definitely have to say Peter Lindert. There's scarcely a smarter (non-libertarian) out there.

Jason Briggeman writes:

I would suggest Lord Keynes, except it's hard to know whether we really disagree.

Tim Worstall writes:

I'm not sure about this use of the word hack at all. I've used it myself. Referring to myself of course, but still a useful word.
Or perhaps it has different connotations in American than it does in English. Over here it can mean what you are using it for, but it can also be an affectionate name, someone sufficiently professional that they can turn out work to order.

Barkley Rosser writes:

So, I don't think you guys or Tyler and Alex are hacks. What is your view about the crowd at maxspeak?

Monte writes:

I cast my vote for Lester Thurow, a brilliant (but flawed) man who is hopelessly addicted to the Third Way.

ptm writes:

You know, for a liberal economist that follows politics, that's startlingly easy.

In homage, Milton Friedman. Allen Greenspan. Mitt Romney. Rick Warren. In a different vein, Peter Singer.

matt writes:

I give up. I can't think of one.

(-_-) writes:

I would add Milton Freedman and Thomas Sowell to that list.

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