Friday, November 01, 2002

Blog Reviews

The blogosphere is a crowded place, with a lot of great stuff to read. While the Professor is a great place to start, there are tens of thousands of blogs and other sites that are worthy of eyeball time. Almost all blogs have a blogroll of sites that the writer recommends, but there is very little context, so one is left to following links, or going to sites that are dedicated to review. My readers don't come here for reviews, you come here for a fresh look at issues. In that vein, I plan to present here, from time to time, a review of sites that I consider outstanding, and well worth your time. Feel free to submit sites to me that you think might be worth a look and, if I agree, I will spread the word. I'm looking for sites that are not only excellent, but new or little known. That said, allow me to present:


This site is apparently from Amsterdam, with a decidedly economic and European point of view. If you like to read about European politics through the lens of economic policy, you will love this blog. While the writer, "qsi," bemoans his increasing verbosity, the site is peppered with wonderfully concise observations, like:
And with any politically-driven process, rational economic decision making, as it might happen in a free market, goes out the window in order to advance the Grand Schemes of politicians.
There's an excellent exposition of the reasons why the Euro is doomed:
The strains on the euro have been there right from the start, but tectonic plates of European politics and economics are close to producing an earthquake. It's not going to be the Big One yet. To throw in the towel so soon after the euro's creation is politically unthinkable, even if it were economically rational to do so.
Here you can read examples of how a nominally capitalist liberal democracy, such as Holland's, can stumble on their lawmakers' incipient socialism, such as this:
In a an amazing display of economic illiteracy, the Dutch Labour party proposes a new law that would force banks to maintain branches in rural areas. The wave of rationalization and consolidation means that many smaller branches are being closed by the big banks. In a mind-boggling display of statist thinking, the Labour party want to force banks to keep a minimum of branches open, with at least one branch per three kilometers or 10,000 inhabitants.
There is plenty more here, such as the impending crackup of the Pin Fortyn government, a nice bit on how the Saudi economy is about to implode. All of this comes with a plethora of links, and a strong dose of good humor along with all of the good sense. Very well written, if you can put up with his English strain of english, with their propensity to screw up all of the collective plurals. While I would dispute that he is verbose, he is prolific; if you click of the link, be prepared to read the whole thing.