I found Menzie Chinn’s reply to David Brooks very amusing. My impression is that Chinn missed Brooks’s point, i.e., (a) there are good reasons to be concerned about future U.S. productivity growth and labor quality (as Robert Gordon has observed) and (b) there has been a tendency on the part of both political parties to advance policies that appear to address these underlying challenges yet that in fact transfer resources to highly inefficient public service providers and incumbent private firms. That’s hardly a crime. But Chinn’s condescension is what makes the post an interesting specimen.
On a related note, John Cochrane has a very good post that is critical of Raghuram Rajan’s latest. Specifically, Cochrane takes exception to Rajan’s broad characterization of subsidies for housing and credit as a strategy for mitigating rising inequality and his implicit optimism regarding Dodd-Frank and traditional public sector service provision.