18 Jul 2008

Me on Fox Business News

Don't believe it? Watch this!

Ok, they misspelled the name of this blog in the byline (aQuanomics), but everything else went ok.* I got to make my point, and I am not running for political office :)

BTW -- I'd say that the Forbes piece tripled normal visits to this blog; the Fox piece quadrupled that number. (I'm starting to understand the power of TV.) That increase was driven by a link from Matt Yglesias.

Addendum: Freakonomics also mentioned the Forbes piece and my name. Can't separate out the influences because Freakonomics didn't link directly to this blog :(

* I look a little stressed at the start because** I was talking to a camera, not a person. I could hear the host but couldn't see him.

** Or maybe it was because I had just seen Bill O'Reilly in makeup. (He did not tell me to "do it live!")


  1. Cool. Have you looked into buying aquanomics.com and redirecting it here? I bet a lot of people make that mistake.

  2. You deserve it (the readership). This has got to be the most underrated economics blog out there. Lots of high quality posts, not a lot of commenters. I'm glad I found your blog when I did.

  3. That is a power tie if I've ever seen one!

  4. I can relate to the difficulty of being on TV, when you can't see an audience or a human being to connect with. It's very difficult to achieve a natural-looking outcome. I looked horribly wooden when I was on, as a candidate for office a couple of years ago. I curse YouTube for keeping such moments alive forever.

    Pivoting, the presenter hit on something that good policy often has to overcome: the initial blanching at one facet of a rational policy that sounds first-blush horrible. It is difficult to sell policy that sounds like it will make life directly more expensive. (People never seem to worry about funding via taxes, because there is no direct bill for, say, mass transit subsidies.) But the water bill is something we see, and the sound of a tripling of price is scary- until you realize that you can probably use less water than would send you into that rate, and actually come out ahead, IF you plan your water usage. 75 gal/day? Most days my household uses less than that. There's the way to sell the policy, imho.

    Congrats on the broadening of your reach!

  5. Nice one. I would have struggled with the host's patronising manner!

  6. David, congrats on this!

    But it seems to me that the FOX host was spot on - as I noted on another thread, you really need to package changes so that they readily appear at first blush, as win-win solutions that would appeal to the public. Since privatization is unlikely to fly, why not couch your price grandfathering proposal so that the average individual's water bill goes down, but with the utility free to set whatever rates it wants for use about the grandfathered amount and for businesses?

    Also, you lost points by not more quickly acknowledging that supply ISN'T fixed, it is just extremely (and unnecessarily) rigid rigid because of the insufficient property rights and the lack of water markets that prevents markets from allocating to the highest value uses.

  7. FInally getting the media coverage you deserve. Good work, David!


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