As I’ve mentioned in the past, Mark Thoma’s blog Economist’s View was my introduction to the blogosphere. Even today, his blog is the first I look to for links and for commentary. So, of course, I’d like to pile on to the plaudits he’s been receiving these last few days, including being featured in a forthcoming WSJ article about econ bloggers, apparently. David Warsh, who writes an independent weekly column called Economic Principals, also had a nice write-up on him (which I found out about, as with many things on this blog, via Mark Thoma). I agreed with most of what he wrote, but I want to expand upon one thing that Warsh wrote.
But Thoma is the most nearly perpendicular of them all. He stands at a right angle to the plane of mainstream debate, selecting and presenting the various arguments fully and fairly. Anybody who builds anything knows that trueing things up – making them level, square, concentric, or, in this case, fair and balanced – is a crucial step along the way. Nobody does a better job of digesting online economic commentary than he does.
The only thing I’d like to add is to point out that Thoma does not merely engage the “mainstream debate.” He has consistently linked and blogged about things outside the mainstream of economics (including, ahem, this blog). I think it’s important to point that out, because it’s not something I see at all at Paul Krugman or Brad DeLong’s blog, for example. So, this is a thank you, Professor Thoma, for originally engaging me in the blogosphere, but also for engaging a diversity of material, including the voice ordinarily crowded out of the discussion.