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Blog of the Week: Ashok Rao (2013).

October 12, 2018


About five years or so ago, one of my blog posts surprisingly was picked up by Brad DeLong’s Journal. This pleased me because it never happened before and because DeLong’s blog is one of my favorites. Of course, one of the reasons they may have reprinted it may have been because my blog essentially was about how perceptive an economist I believed DeLong to be. Despite my continuing posting here of items from his blogs, none of mine has been picked up by him since then. Fame is far more fleeting than notoriety.

At about the same time as my brush with acceptance by an idol of mine, the same Brad DeLong’s Journal introduced me to a blog written by Ashok Rao  ( containing some penetrating and insightful analysis of contemporary economic thought. What really amazed, however, was not the quality of the analysis but the fact that Mr. Rao was only 18 years old and a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania. He wrote a one to two thousand word article almost every day reviewing the recent publications of some of the most eminent writers in the field. How did he find time to do his school work?

Now five years later he is still producing the blog with the same diamond sharp analysis on economic matters as always. What he is doing now other than writing his blog, I do not know since he has not updated his biographical data in the blog and a search for Ashok Rao on google produces many more individuals with that name than I care to research,

The following is one of his quotes from that first blog post of his five years ago that I read and  liked a lot.:

“We today owe our intellectual and humanitarian heritage to Franklin Roosevelt. Not because he vindicated principles of easy money or public finance. Not because he vindicated principles of modern liberalism. But – for the first time in the history of our nation and all nations – he demonstrated that government can exist for the great benefit of the many at the minor cost of the few. For almost a century both political parties have lived by this end if disagreeing on the means.

There is an ideology that accommodates the worst of efficient markets, supply-side economics, and neoliberal economists like Milton Friedman. It is called right-wing hackery, with Niall Ferguson as high priest.”
This is Ashok (Ashok Rao)

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