Yglesias String (cont.)" />
Matt Yglesias String (cont.)
October 20th, 2015

How’s that Yoga Instructor Economy working out? Not so much.

Of course.


For the Yglesias Clip File
April 6th, 2015


For the Yglesias Clip File
April 2nd, 2015

Just a reminder: Matt Yglesias doesn’t know anything about the economics and sociology of the family, either.

Though I bet he skimmed through part of an Atlantic article on the stuff once and follows @stephaniecoontz on Twitter. Which totally makes him expert enough to write about the subject.

1 comment

Yglesias Clip File–Updated
December 2nd, 2013

Matt Yglesias (@mattyglesias)
Wait there’s a special Vatican Embassy separate from the Italian Embassy in Rome? Why?


Matt Yglesias (@mattyglesias)
The US Embassy in Switzerland also handles Liechtenstein. Clearly no reason for a separate embassy for the Vatican.

This is so perfectly illustrative. It’s not the conflation of Liechtenstein with the Holy See in terms of geopolitical importance. It’s the pronouncement that there is “clearly” “no reason” for a separate embassy for the Vatican.

Mind you, he’s not saying that there’s “insufficient reason” for a separate embassy. Or that, on balance, prudence suggests that a separate embassy is wasteful, or risky, or mostly redundant. There’s simply “no reason” for it at all.

Because anything Matt Yglesias doesn’t understand must not exist.

Update: Over at the Federalist, C.J. Ciaramella discusses Yglesias’s writerly shortcomings. It leaves a mark. As does this other Federalist piece by Sean Davis. This may come as a shock, but Yglesias doesn’t know what he’s talking about with regards to banking in America, either.


For the Yglesias Clip File
August 8th, 2013

Courtesy of Galley Reader E.E., an item from CJR which begins:

Writing about newspapers and the Internet, Matthew Yglesias manages to be both crushingly obvious and wrong at the same time. Quite a feat.

1 comment

Yglesias String, cont.
July 16th, 2013

Matt Yglesias weighs in on the efficacy of public defenders without ever having read . . . oh, you know where this is going:

Matthew Yglesias speculates about what would have happened if George Zimmerman had been represented by a public defender. As somebody who knows quite a few public defenders (and — full disclosure — is married to one), I was surprised to see Yglesias describe most public defenders as having “little emotional … investment in winning the case.” It’s been my general observation that many public defenders are extremely passionate, whether about helping their clients, defeating overreaching prosecutors, or both. It’s not a bearable job if you don’t have an emotional investment in it.

That assertion aside, Yglesias’s broader point is to worry that those who are represented by public defenders may have worse outcomes than those with represented counsel because public defenders lack adequate incentives and resources. But some of the research on this is actually quite interesting. Morris Hoffman, Paul Rubin, and Joanna Shepherd wrote a paper arguing that while public defenders’ clients do tend to fare worse than those with private counsel, that may be caused by a selection effect . . .

Knowing stuff is for suckers.

Bonus: He thinks British Imperials never wore shorts.

Update: I’d say that the category is now closed because of this impressive compendium. But I’m sure there will be more.



For the Yglesias Clip File
July 10th, 2013

Pinko-squish that I am, I’m the last guy in the world to spring to the defense of CEOs, because I think you can make a pretty good argument that CEO compensation is distorted by so many externalities that it represents “true market value” in about the same way that the price of gas in any given locality represents the price of crude. Matt Yglesias isn’t helping though. Here’s a take-down of his recent post on CEO compensation in America vs. Europe. Spoiler alert: There’s a whole body of research on exactly this subject which Yglesias seems to know nothing about:

The entire notion that American chief executives earn a lot more than their foreign counterparts is largely misplaced. A study that looked at this question last year found that what appeared to be the great variance in CEO pay between the U.S. and Europe is largely illusory.

After controlling for firm size, ownership, and board structure, all characteristics that often differ between U.S. and international companies, the gap is reduced, with U.S. executives earning only a 26 percent premium. And when the analysis adjusts for the greater use of stock options and share awards in the U.S., the pay premium is reduced to an economically modest 14 percent. Maybe that would be a nice raise for a European CEO, but it’s not likely enough to induce him to cross the Atlantic and emigrate to the U.S.

The fact is that U.S. companies are more likely to be owned by institutional owners and to have independent boards. These features of the American corporate ownership are closely linked to a larger fraction of compensation being paid in stock, for the very good reason that diversified institutional shareholders are interested in a rising stock market and want to provide incentives for stocks across the board to rise. Concentrated ownership—by families, by the government, by banks—is far more common outside the U.S. and apparently has an effect on how CEOs are paid.

Pedro Matos, an associate professor of business administration at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, was one of the authors of that study.

“In other words, the world is flat for CEOs, or nearly so,” Matos wrote in Forbes earlier this year.

Knowing stuff is boring.

Bonus nugget for the Juicebox clip file: Don’t forget this passage from CJR’s profile of Ezra Klein:

“If you wanted to tell the story of my coming up, Matt Yglesias is the key figure,” Klein says. “Matt’s blog was a major inspiration for me, because he was a college student and he did this kind of data-driven, very careful work that appealed to me.”


For the Yglesias Clipfile
June 18th, 2013

The next time anyone considers engaging anything written by Matt Yglesias, keep the following in mind–and please note the time stamps:



What started it all was Yglesias proclaiming that Jindal “doesn’t understand money.” You can’t make this up.


Yglesias Watch
March 4th, 2013

Matt Yglesias seems to know as much about accounting as he does about demographics. And CGA color adapters. And the history of newspapers. And . . . never mind.

1 comment

Matt Yglesias Has a Problem–Updated
March 7th, 2012

He thinks that his problem is that mean people who are stupid followers of Andrew Breitbart’s cult are giving his Kindle book bad reviews.

But in reality, his problem is that he constructs sentences like this:

For example, it’s a book largely dedicated to making the case for less regulation of urban and suburban land. The kind of thing that conservatives might be open to, were they need just in a fury of rage.

“were they need just in a fury of rage”

Don’t get fixated on the “need,” which is probably just a typo. It’s the “fury of rage” construct that’s the real prize.

Remember: He’s not doing this as a hobbyist. Someone at the Washington Post Company paid him to write this self-serving, sub-literate, word tangle.

Update: Yglesias leaves a comment below. That’s embarrassing enough. But having read his comment three or four times, best as I can tell it’s a non sequitur. Then again, I suppose the Washington Post Company isn’t paying him for reading comprehension. (Or reporting. Or prose style. Or knowing stuff.) They pay him for his “passion.”

That’s their business. I’d just say that passion is a pretty cheap commodity in writing. You can find buckets of it in every comments section from Free Republic to Democratic Underground. Over the years Slate has had lots of really dynamite writers: Seth Stevenson, John Dickerson, Anne Applebaum, Tim Noah, Will Saletan, Jodi Kantor–just to pick a few. They’re all stone-cold studs and none of them got graded on the curve for how passionate they are.


On Matt Yglesias
March 2nd, 2012

There’s nothing wrong with criticizing Andrew Breitbart or rendering a negative judgement on his work and his legacy, as David Frum did yesterday. But Matt Yglesias’ celebration is a wholly different animal.

And I can’t quite understand the non-reaction to it. There used to be a price–professional and social–to be paid when high-profile journalists who are part of big media conglomerates acted this way. A commenter at Daily Kos or Free Republic could behave badly with impunity, but the actual professionals couldn’t because they were afraid they’d get their knuckles rapped by the suits and/or their more respectable friends would disapprove, and maybe even be forced to repudiate them.

It still happens, you know. Compare Yglesias’ tweet, in terms of maliciousness, stupidity, and actual hurtful impact on real people, with CNN anchor Roland Martin’s Super Bowl tweet about a David Beckham ad. You tell me which you think is a worse ethical infraction. CNN suspended Martin almost immediately. But Slate editor David Plotz rushed out to defend Yglesias. Slate isn’t some independent magazine, like Reason, they’re part of the Washington Post Company, a corporation with a $3 billion market capitalization. Surely there’s a grownup somewhere in the company who thinks that employees should be made to uphold some minimum standard of conduct, or else they risk embarrassing the business. They sure do at other companies.

Come to think of it, they even used to do this at the Washington Post Company.


Yglesias Alert
February 29th, 2012

Oh. Oh no. Stop. Please.

No más.

1 comment