Bruce Bartlett

Two years ago, I wrote a column about ?blogs? (web logs) because they were the most interesting new Internet phenomenon I had come across.  Essentially, they are personal web sites that offer people daily (even hourly) commentary on current events or whatever they feel like writing about.  Last year at this time I wrote another column on this topic, so I guess it has become something of a tradition for me.  This is my latest discussion of the blog phenomenon.

 In my first commentary, I noted that journalists like Andrew Sullivan, Mickey Kaus and Matt Drudge, as well as publications such as National Review, The American Prospect and Reason magazine had established blogs.  Last year, I noted the growing number of academics who were commenting regularly in this form, including Brad Delong (Cal-Berkeley), Eugene Volokh and Steve Bainbridge (both of UCLA), Glenn Reynolds (U/Tennessee), Steve Antler (Roosevelt U.), and Tyler Cowen and Tyler Cowen and Alex Tabarrok of George Mason University.

 What I have discovered in the past year is that there is increasing specialization among bloggers, with more staking out narrow areas of commentary.  Since my main interests are economics and tax policy, I have singled out a few blogs in these areas that I have found to be valuable resources.

 In the tax area, the most prolific blogger is tax professor Paul Caron of the University of Cincinnati.  I find him useful because he really keeps on top of the scholarly research among other tax professors.  In most cases, this research is available on the Internet in the form of working papers that may be available months or even years before they appear in inaccessible law reviews.  This is extremely valuable to me in terms of keeping ahead of the curve on tax research.

Bruce Bartlett

Bruce Bartlett is a former senior fellow with the National Center for Policy Analysis of Dallas, Texas. Bartlett is a prolific author, having published over 900 articles in national publications, and prominent magazines and published four books, including Reaganomics: Supply-Side Economics in Action.

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