Dirty Jobs

corner

Another busy day at the Atlantic…Thomas Levenson deals with McMegan so you don’t have to.






36 replies
  1. 1
    Joshua Norton says:

    Is it me, or does it look like she’s using a urinal?

    My mind usually doesn’t default to toilet humor, but seriously….

  2. 2
    Crashman06 says:

    I believe that TBogg referred to this post as McArdle being “dismembered with an exacto knife”

  3. 3
    Dork says:

    And from the title of the post I thought this’d be about cheap Mexican hookers….

  4. 4

    I’ve only gone to that guy’s site when DougJ links to him, but I find his constant harping on her credentials to be tedious. Yes, she “only” has a degree in English as well as an MBA… I get that she’s not a PhD. Great, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t get to have an opinion, and I doubt getting more education would make her opinions less dumb.

    Including an appeal to authority into his case against her statements makes his case weaker not stronger… and he’s done it at least twice that I’ve seen.

  5. 5

    Yet people like McArdle write for good money and get potentially millions of readers worth of exposure while guys like me and others write for free for dozens. Doesn’t make any sense.

    But the inmates haven’t just taken over the media, they’ve grabbed the steering wheel of the health care debate. Texas is threatening secession over a single issue like this health care “reform” that, by all appearance, looks as if will not be reform at all as much as a repackaged status quo. There’s your bipartisan spirit. I can perfectly understand why Obama thinks he can work with these lunatics.

    Ergo, I think it’s high time someone wrote an open letter to the great state of Texas.

  6. 6
    Mojotron says:

    McArdle and Ambinder- the gyre in The Atlantic.

  7. 7
    tc125231 says:

    @jurassicpork: Let Texas seceed. Austin is likely to seceed from Texas if it does.

  8. 8
    Common Sense says:

    @jurassicpork:

    C’mon dude. 200 people and Larry Kilgore do not accurately represent 27 million. Why not mention the quarter million plus that showed up at each of the PRO immigration rallies in Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio?

    Texas ain’t going anywhere. They may very well elect a former Senator (and if that ain’t rejecting state autonomy, what is?) They may also send a Dem to the Senate.

  9. 9
    Ed Marshall says:

    I very rarely read McArdle’s blog, but I do see her occasionally on bloggingheads.tv.

    When she is on there she’s obviously a sharp person and while I don’t agree with much of what she is saying, I never think of her as stupid. Selfish and thinks she’s cool in a “this will piss off campus liberals” mode of thought that seems to be her lodestone but not stupid.

    Then she’ll crank out some bunch of horseshit like this in written form and it’s confusing.

    Will Wilkerson is the same way for me.

  10. 10
    Comrade Jake says:

    I don’t think McArdle’s dumb, she’s just *a terrible writer*. I don’t mean that she can’t put a sentence together, since she can certainly do that. I mean that she doesn’t appear to have good ideas for what makes compelling reading or an interesting argument. Compare her to Coates who routinely has something interesting to say, but when he doesn’t, simply let’s the locals play. Megan looks constipated by comparison, always trying to push crap out.

    This is what makes her job at the Atlantic, degrees, etc. all the more perplexing.

  11. 11
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Ed Marshall:

    When she is on there she’s obviously a sharp person

    You and I clearly have different definitions of that word.

  12. 12
    Trollhattan says:

    What McMegan is, is artfully obtuse. She’s evidently congenitally incapable of new acquiring new insights or even modifying her beliefs in the face of new data.

    If she were a contestant on “Survivor” she’d stay on the beach bitching about why her iphone wasn’t connecting, and prove her superiority to her team by going Galt on them, depriving them of her big basket of skillz.

    There are days where she seems EVERYWHERE and I can’t imagine that this ubiquity will lead to anything good.

  13. 13
    Sloth says:

    What McMegan is, is artfully obtuse. She’s evidently congenitally incapable of new acquiring new insights or even modifying her beliefs in the face of new data.

    Not quite. She is congenitally incapable of new acquiring new insights that do not fit her desired conclusion.

    If they match her predestined conclusion, she’ll acquire them.

  14. 14
    jacy says:

    She’s not necessarily STUPID, but she’s intellectually incredibely lazy, and seems to be unable to aquire insight. It seems like most of her ideas are simple in a very adolescent way, and have no bearing on the real world, which is complex and messy and requires you to add to your knowledge and understanding rather than falling back onto everything you thought you knew when you were 14.

  15. 15
    Roger Moore says:

    @J.W. Hamner:

    Yes, she “only” has a degree in English as well as an MBA… I get that she’s not a PhD.

    It’s not that she doesn’t have a PhD. It’s what she studied. Getting an MBA doesn’t mean you know the first thing about economics, which is what she likes writing about.

  16. 16

    People who argue about this “issue” like McArdle and Wilkerson do are being so disingenuous that they’re frankly open to accusations of arguing in bad faith or intellectual dishonesty. They’ve taken the real issue — people showing up to protest health care by toting guns and making strange accusations of nascent dictatorship. Carrying a gun to a protest is, I imagine, for some in places where open carry is permitted, just a matter of course. But the question McArdle so glaringly fails to even acknowledge is, “Why is carrying a gun to protest health care a germane form of protest?”

    It’s not. There’s no revision of the Second Amendment on the table, no new national Assault Weapons Ban. President Obama has said he believes carrying a gun in accordance with local ordinances is a right, up to and including that jackass with the “Water the tree of tyranny” sign in New Hampshire. By ignoring what is being protested, McArdle strips it of all context; context, by the way, that crucially undermines her whole fucking argument. Which is par for the course with professional libertarians.

  17. 17
    Warren Terra says:

    2 J W Hammer, #4

    I’ve only gone to that guy’s site when DougJ links to him, but I find his constant harping on her credentials to be tedious. Yes, she “only” has a degree in English as well as an MBA… I get that she’s not a PhD. Great, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t get to have an opinion, and I doubt getting more education would make her opinions less dumb.

    I don’t read Levenson’s blog either, and in fact I’ve not even read today’s linked post yet. But my sense from seeing the credentials dispute pop up last time McMegan was the subject of several threads here, and seeing it pop up pretty much whenever I’ve seen her posts disputed elsewhere, is that she makes a big deal about how she has a complete command of economics and none of her detractors understand how the world works. And in this context she like to brandish her MBA as if it made her an authority on economics. Levenson has no relevant credentials, other than being a serious and thoughtful person who (unlike McMegan) cannot collect his paycheck for being a ninny who drives traffic by flinging poo around to attract attention, and some of McMegan’s acolytes were basically defending her post by claiming that she, with her MBA, is The Queen Of All Economics and that this mere plebe has no right to question her. He responded rather forcefully, as I recall.

    Although, having glanced at the current post, I’m not sure what the reference to her credentials is supporting when Levenson uses it. Maybe it’s just a sarcastic reference to her reliance on credentialism in other circumstances?

  18. 18
    Fulcanelli says:

    I do love when you unleash the snark, John. The title, post & pic gave me a good chuckle.

  19. 19
    JohnR says:

    jacy said: “She’s not necessarily STUPID, but she’s intellectually incredibely lazy, and seems to be unable to aquire insight. It seems like most of her ideas are simple in a very adolescent way, and have no bearing on the real world, which is complex and messy and requires you to add to your knowledge and understanding rather than falling back onto everything you thought you knew when you were 14.”

    And that, in a nutshell, summarizes pretty much everybody in the neocon/glibertarian ranks, up to and including our last President. Not a few Democrats, as well, but since they’re not actually in power, they’re not important.

  20. 20
    Sentient Puddle says:

    @James F. Elliott:

    But the question McArdle so glaringly fails to even acknowledge is, “Why is carrying a gun to protest health care a germane form of protest?”

    Funnily enough, it’s actually worse than that. She does actually acknowledge it by saying that she believes it’s a dumb thing to do (in a very non-committal way). It’s just that somehow, the people raising a stink about it are unimaginably worse!

    Really, it’s one thing to stick your fingers in your ears and go “LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA”. But this…oy.

  21. 21

    @Warren Terra: Warren — You are right, I think. The mention of McArdle’s background is unnecessary. Certainly you are right when you say that I have no formal credentials past my BA; I’ve got a body of work out there for people to take look at if they want to, but the only way to judge whether or not I’ve got anything worthwhile to say is by assessing each utterance on its own merits.

    What I was trying to convey here was my real fatigue at the sheer easy smugness I read in McArdle and a bunch of others in the kind of sweeping statement that I was referring to when I snarked on her educational background in this post. She had asserted that protest does not work as a fact of nature, and that’s such an obtuse statement that I was trying to highlight the degree of obliviousness needed to make it.

    But still, it’s a claim that snarks itself, really, and if people are going to get tripped up by even the hint of argument from authority, then it’s time to retire it even when it is used (as here) to suggest no authority is needed to grok how flawed some argument may be.

  22. 22
    Barry says:

    A few notes:

    Anybody who’s read her much (especially in her Jane Galt days) will have repeatedl seen her brag about her Chicago MBA. I remember her boasting that some of her econ professors[1] had Nobel prizes.

    In terms of learning, Tollhattan and Sloth got it – this is a woman who hasn’t learned jack sh*t which would challenge her beliefs.

    Corruption – Megan’s fiancee is employed by Armey’s astroturf group, fighting healthcare reform. She’s acknowledged him, but not mentioned anything about the dishonest campaign the GOP has waged (her talents mysteriously fail here). Of course, the real reason is that she’s part of the campaign, as much as her fiancee is. She just adds an additional layer of dishonesty, by pretending to be a journalist.

    Sheer forked-tongue gall. Back in 2004 (IIRC), Megan was salivating at the idea of some anti-GOP protesters getting a 2×4 in the face from a NYC construction worker. Now, she’s big on carrying guns to demonstrations.

    [1] A non-quant MBA like her would have taken one or two actual econ classes; if she had *one* professor with a Nobel prize, that’d have been a lot.

  23. 23
    Fulcanelli says:

    @Thomas Levenson: That was a truly righteous and well deserved ass whupin’ you doled out in that article, sir. Bravo.

  24. 24
    Kiril says:

    Thank you John, for not linking to her.

  25. 25
    Fulcanelli says:

    Is there a specific tax bracket at which Libertarian thinking begins overtaking common sense and any sense of community with the rest of the people that inhabit your country with you?

  26. 26
    DonkeyKong says:

    Wow, one Megs McMuffin to go with a OJ and one of those fruit pie things that is really filled with hot lava!

  27. 27
    MNPundit says:

    Is that really her? She cleans up decently. wow.

  28. 28
    John Cole says:

    @MNPundit: That’s not Megan.

  29. 29
    Gemma says:

    I gotta say, the constant ad hominem against Megan McArdle around here kinda bugs me whenever I see it. Is it just me, or is she the only one who regularly comes in for that? I’d rather see a dismantling of her arguments than an attack on her personality or qualifications.

  30. 30
    Sentient Puddle says:

    @Gemma: And that’s what Thomas Levenson’s write-up is for!

  31. 31
    Trollhattan says:

    @Gemma,

    Yup, it’s just you.

  32. 32

    @Thomas Levenson:

    What I was trying to convey here was my real fatigue at the sheer easy smugness I read in McArdle and a bunch of others in the kind of sweeping statement that I was referring to when I snarked on her educational background in this post. She had asserted that protest does not work as a fact of nature, and that’s such an obtuse statement that I was trying to highlight the degree of obliviousness needed to make it.

    From this statement, and other comments in the thread, I get where the credential attack comes from now… if she thinks her MBA lets her appeal to her own “authority” in all issues then I can see why the snark comes into play. That’s just beyond silly. However, except in specific instances when she tries to lord her MBA over people, I don’t think it’s a good idea to attack her qualifications. In the specific case of Levinson’s post, we have a pretty pristine evisceration of her argument… but the attack on her credentials comes very early… so if someone was inclined to view that aspect as petty or whatever, they might not read the rest.

  33. 33
    Gwangung says:

    @Gemma: I think it’s just you. A) There’s plenty of substance to go with the insults. B) She getsthe same treatment as does Rush, Beck and other folks who say really stupid things.

  34. 34
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    Late to the party. For those above who continue to defend McMe-again as a bright person, this is the individual who replied thusly in a WaPo chat:

    Anonymous: You said that medical innovation will be wiped out if we have a type of national health care, because European drug companies get 80% of their revenue from Americans. Where did you get this statistic?

    Megan McArdle: It wasn’t a statistic–it was a hypothetical.

    However, whenever I have been able to find pharma financial statements that break down their profits by region, the lion’s share always comes from the US.

    via.

    And for the record, it wasn’t a hypothetical. She used it as a statistic.

    She also said in the same chat something to the effect of “you are under the mistaken impression that I have a workable political plan.”

    Sort of like the entire GOP.

  35. 35
    Brian J says:

    I’ve only gone to that guy’s site when DougJ links to him, but I find his constant harping on her credentials to be tedious. Yes, she “only” has a degree in English as well as an MBA… I get that she’s not a PhD. Great, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t get to have an opinion, and I doubt getting more education would make her opinions less dumb.

    Including an appeal to authority into his case against her statements makes his case weaker not stronger… and he’s done it at least twice that I’ve seen.

    I don’t think questioning her authority, such as it is, is an appeal to it. In fact, I think you have it backwards. He’s questioning the fact that so many appeal to her alleged authority, when in fact she has none.

    I don’t read her regularly, primarily because she doesn’t seem very interesting. But I can tell she is, at her core, a smart person, even if it’s hidden beneath layers of nonsense. Regardless, she’s not an expert on economics. She doesn’t have a PhD in the field. She may be more qualified than most to comment on business, and even economic matters by virtue of just knowing more, for whatever reason, than the average person, but when she’s trotted out as some sort of big shot, it’s insulting to a lot of people. It’s probably worse for someone like Levenson, who if I remember correctly works at MIT where there’s a department full of people who have forgotten more about economics than McArdle (or me) will ever know.

  36. 36
    sucking says:

    What did i do wrong? If i broke your blog i’m so sorry, i hope i didn’t ruin anything or i’d feel really bad

Comments are closed.