More matter with less art

Bolivia knowledge test

Your pro-tip of the day is to read the comments sections of posts in high traffic economics blogs in order to gauge the level of public ignorance about the subject in question. Today’s example is Marginal Revolution on Bolivia, right here (h/t drunkeynsian). Tyler Cowen gets most things right-ish inside the boundaries of fair opinion (the only thing he really misses is how Bolivia’s gas exports to Brazil and Argentina are covered by long-term contracts, so Brazil’s apparent near recession isn’t Bolivia’s) but the people lining up to give their two cents are already cringeworthy.

PS: There’s another thing. If you notice the previous post on MR, it’s a fair guess that Cowen has just picked up a book on Bolivia and managed to put together a pretty cogent post on the country’s outlook (again, within a margin of error and taking into account personal views and tastes) in a short period of time and without being any sort of deeply read expert. The hallmark of smart scholar is to be able to do that sort of thing.

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