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December 23, 2002

Chris Bertram thinks Daniel Davies is the best writer in blogdom. It’s a defensible position. I suspect the biggest reason Davies doesn’t get more attention and egoboo is that everything he writes is discursive and nuanced and refuses to come to simple conclusions. Fortunately, as this post about economists, methodology, and lighthouses demonstrates, Davies manages the high-wire art of being breezy while paying minute attention to particulars:
To be honest, a system under which the government of the day gives you the authority to demand a payment from every ship that enters a port, and which states that failure to recognise this authority is treason (at the time, punishable by death), does not really look to me to be very much like a free market exchange. In fact, in giving the producer of a product the authority to demand on pain of death or imprisonment that everyone in a particular market has to buy their product, would seem to me to be very much more government involvement indeed, than the current rather light regulation of the housing market. I’m not saying that the analogy Coase used in that Reason magazine interview was completely outrageously misleading. I’m just sayin’.
A great trick, if you can manage it. [12:34 PM]
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