Should I Be More Cynical

The very kind Tyler Cowen writes that this new site "will continue to offer my favorite TV and NBA reviews on the web, along with his regular incisive-but-I-wish-he-were-more-cynical-about-government-and-more-sanguine-about-the-transformational-power-of-economic-growth Democratic political analysis." Cowen's a libertarian, so I expect we won't see eye-to-eye on this, but I actually think I am pretty cynical about government. I've learned a lot from my various libertarian friends, from my seminar with Robert Nozick, from libertarian blogs, etc. and I think public choice economics is a very important perspective. The upshot of this is that, as a general matter, I'm considerably less enthusiastic about regulatory solutions to policy problems than are most liberals.

Sadly, though, the upshot of my libertarian-infused cynicism has mostly been to push me left of where I used to be on domestic policy issues. It's cynicism about government and the political process that, for example, has made me much more enthusiastic about labor unions and much more hostile to means-testing entitlements than I used to be. If I believed that the deliberative democracy people weren't naive fools, I'd be much more sanguine about various "third way" approaches to things.