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Good Health

Today’s edition of Brian Beutler’s almost daily Corner-bashing locates Larry Kudlow’s scintillating analysis of national security policy “Despite all the criticism President Bush has received over his administration’s Iraq war policies, isn’t it interesting that stock markets have been booming during the whole period from early 2003 onward? [. . .] Stocks are giving the president a vote of confidence.”

Um, okay. Meanwhile, lurking in the ellipsis is Kudlow’s confession that he doesn’t know anything about economics. Or, as he puts it, “I have long believed that stock markets are the best barometer of the health and wealth of a nation.” That verges on being silly — huges swathes of economic activity, after all, are conducted by organizations that aren’t publicly traded companies. It’s fascinating, however, in a sociological sense. Kudlow isn’t a specialist in something else who’s just freelancing in economic ignorance on the National Review blogs. This is supposed to be his area of specialization. But he doesn’t know anything about it. And National Review’s editors are either too ignorant to do anything about it, or else just don’t care. And, more tellingly, nobody in the conservative hierarchy who interacts with National Review’s editors has communicated to those editors in a convincing manner that it reflects poorly on their publication to regularly run economic commentary by someone who doesn’t know anything about it.

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