Thursday, July 01, 2004

Welfare Economics 101

In the process of debunking a post by a Professor Bainbridge, Brad DeLong provides, gratis, a tutorial on the maximization of social welfare, and in so doing he shows why one ought to be careful about endorsing shoddy thinking even when it is in support of positions one agrees with: one leaves yourself open to dissections like the one given by Brad DeLong, the end result of which is that one's credibility on all other matters ends up being compromised.

DeLong's dismantling of another in a long serious of ludicrous arguments by Don Luskin is another example of what I'm getting at: with laughably incompetent spokesmen like Luskin and Tom Nugent (see here) in their employ, what else can those who run the National Review expect from those who know what they're talking about, other than to be regarded as a rag for kooks written by kooks?

While we're at it, Brad's post also illustrates why decent MathML support of the kind provided by the best browser out there is such a dire necessity: it must have been awfully cumbersome to create the GIFs used for the equations in the post, and even then, being images, simple conveniences like font resizing remain out of reach.