One almost got us to the keyboard but two in two days was too much. Accountants seem to be becoming the conservative version of “old white men” for the left. See Jay Nordlinger for a discussion of old white men. Since we are both, we would at least like to stop the friendly fire.
Recently at NRO John O’Sullivan took aim at the Tories and their leader, Theresa May, for their failure over Brexit. John was worried that Theresa would hang on for a long time but fortunately she has resigned. We agree with John but we didn’t like his comment about accountants:
That emerged yesterday when she got her new! improved! withdrawal bill accepted by her cabinet colleagues and then revealed it in a speech (and in a mistaken symbolic piece of presentation) to the headquarters of an international accounting company.
It seems he mentions accountants and a major accounting firm as a gratuitous insult. We are not sure how it is an insult but we took it as one. Even with the insult we agree with John. The Tories have damaged their brand greatly by this cock-up on the Brexit front. Even with Theresa gone we need to ask will they survive? Should they survive?
Joshua R. Hendrickson is an eco prof who got published at NRO taking Marco Rubio to task for his recent misguided investment report. We can’t find our earlier comment but we were disagreed with Marco Wants A National Innovation Strategy. Perhaps we only commented mentally but Josh is right that Marco is confused. Josh concludes that we might ask:
[A]bout the appropriate policy prescription for declining investment. Yet the report does not take a stand. Instead, it argues for “a renewed emphasis on the business firm as the primary and necessary allocator of capital in the American economy” and “an institutional arrangement order to this end.” The reader is left to imagine what any of that means in practice. [Emphasis added]
We are worried about the institutional arrangements that we have bolded. Along with the confusing and leftist stuff that Josh identifies our imagination leads us to believe that the report is looking for methods for the government to become involved in stopping the trend. The fact that Marco wants a national innovation strategy, cited above, leads us to feel confident in our imagination.
What we don’t like is when Josh says:
None of these questions are asked because the entire analysis is not an exercise in economics, but merely an exercise in accounting. [Emphasis added]
Now we have read Deirdre’s book and understand the rough and tumble nature of economics prose. We are even guilty of thinking it might be OK if Josh said, “merely an exercise in bookkeeping.” Still it was a distraction.
We guess the solution is to own the insults. Josh and John are on target with their analysis. The confusion that they show about accounting and accountants should not distract us from that.