• What I said, and didn’t

    Just a reminder:

    I say what I mean and only what I mean. So, if I write, “Egg yolks are too slimy,” that’s exactly the full extent of my opinion on eggs that you can accurately infer. If I wanted to convey that I hate eggs I’d write, “I hate eggs.” It’s really that simple.

    It’s not just true of eggs, but of everything, including unemployment insurance. If I’m curious as to how it might or might not relate to migration, that tells you nothing about what my views are on the UI policy. That’s why I wrote,

    Don’t get me wrong. I’m not suggesting there’s anything wrong with the UI benefits programs.

    But what I actually write is not what some people want to read. So they make stuff up. I’m Randian, apparently.* I had no idea. Maybe it was all those posts about the RAND health insurance experiment that tipped them off.

    *No, I’m not linking. Clever readers can figure out where this stuff is if they really care.

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    • Sometimes it’s worth remembering that ideological myopia can breed anti-intellectualism just as easily in the left-wing blogosphere as it can in the right

    • As someone who has been to North Dakota maybe 50 times, I thought your post showed a naivete about the rest of the country that you often find in someone who has never lived outside of the northeast. ND is a tiny, insular place, and it doesn’t exactly have a knowledge-based economy. Plus it’s -40.

      If you’d asked why people aren’t moving to ND and SD and NE even though they have the lowest unemployment rates in the country, people would have answered your questions earnestly.

      • @Mark – I understand people mistook the post the way you suggest. But I corrected it as soon as it was pointed out to me as it is not what I meant. I don’t think anyone who had that reaction has any interest in answering my question earnestly. If they did, they would have in the comments and by e-mail. I did interact in an honest and open way with them. Oh well.

    • “I wonder to what extent UI benefits discourage migration.”

      Your words. You’ve never been to ND and you were wondering just what is wrong with all these people who won’t just pick up and move to the Dakotas.

      • @mark – “[Y]ou were wondering just what is wrong with all these people who won’t just pick up and move to the Dakotas.”

        I never wondered that. I wondered precisely what you quoted. Then I updated the post to make that clearer. This is not good enough? What else do you want me to say? Have you never been misunderstood? Do you even care about what I was actually wondering or do you just want to fight a make-believe battle? I think you badly want to pretend that I was focused on ND. That was an example, chosen only because Klein used it.

    • The original post made it clear (and the update made it even clearer) that he was looking for research on the relationship between UI benefits and migration. Any sort of value judgment on the UI program or people who receive them was entirely read into it.

      • @Aidan – Thank you. I’ll note that the negative reaction was generated by the misunderstanding of one blogger. He clearly has some influence over how his few hundred subscribed readers choose to interpret things. Other than him, no other blogger has read it the way he did and said so. It has been read by many thousands (thanks to Andrew Sullivan). I had perfectly reasonable e-mail exchanges about it with Mike Konczal, Tyler Cowen, Ezra Klein, and others. Draw your own conclusion.