Megan McArdle

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Megan McArdle
Megan McArdle portrait.jpg
Megan McArdle in 2010
Born 29 January 1973
New York City
Alma mater University of Pennsylvania
Chicago Booth
Occupation Journalist and writer
Years active 2003–present
Known for Right-leaning journalism and commentary
Spouse(s)
Peter Suderman (m. 2010)

Megan McArdle (born January 29, 1973) is an opinion columnist and blogger based in Washington, D.C.. She writes mostly about economics, finance and government policy from a libertarian perspective.

She began her writing career with a blog, "Live From The WTC", started in November 2001. In 2003 The Economist hired her to write for their website, and since then she has worked full-time as a journalist and editor, both online and in print. McArdle is currently an opinion writer for the Washington Post. Other publications she has worked for include The Atlantic, Newsweek/The Daily Beast, and Bloomberg View. She has also published book reviews and opinion pieces in the New York Post, The New York Sun, Reason, The Guardian, and Salon.

Early life and education[edit]

McArdle was born and raised in New York City. Her father, Francis X. McArdle, was former managing director of the GCA (General Contractors Association of New York)[1] during the Koch, Dinkins, and Giuliani administrations. Her mother, Joan McArdle, was a real estate broker for Prudential Douglas Elliman.[2]

McArdle attended high school at Riverdale Country School.[3] Afterwards, she graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, where she received a B.A. in English literature. She then earned an MBA from University of Chicago's Booth School of Business.[4]

During her junior year of college, she worked as a canvasser for the Public Interest Research Groups, the nonprofit founded by Ralph Nader. Her experience there hurried along her "transition from ultraliberal to libertarian." The organization was, she later wrote, "the most deceptive, evil place I've ever worked."[5]

Career[edit]

Alan Miller, McArdle and Christopher Hayes at a NY Salon discussion

Dave Weigel called McArdle "the original blogger-turned-MSM journo".[6] In 2012, David Brooks called McArdle one of the most influential bloggers on the right.[7]

McArdle began blogging in November 2001 with a blog named "Live From The WTC", which arose from her employment with a construction firm involved in cleanup at the World Trade Center site following the September 11 attacks. She wrote under the pen name "Jane Galt," playing on the name "John Galt", a central character in Ayn Rand's Objectivist novel Atlas Shrugged. In November 2002 she renamed the site "Asymmetrical Information", a reference to the economics term of the same name. That blog had two other occasional contributors, Zimran Ahmed (writing under the pen name "Winterspeak"), and the pseudonymous "Mindles H. Dreck".

McArdle achieved some online fame in May 2003 for coining what she termed "Jane's Law" in a blog post discussing political behaviors.[8][9] The law, written with regard to the two main U.S. political parties, Republicans and Democrats, reads: "The devotees of the party in power are smug and arrogant. The devotees of the party out of power are insane."

Another well-known post of hers, from April 2005, discusses why she takes no position on the issue of same-sex marriage. She wrote, "All I'm asking for is for people to think more deeply than a quick consultation of their imaginations to make that decision... This humility is what I want from liberals when approaching market changes; now I'm asking it from my side [libertarians], in approaching social ones."[10]

In 2003 McArdle was hired by The Economist to write for their website, in the "Countries" and "News" sections, and in October 2006 she founded the Economist's then-new "Free Exchange" blog.

In August 2007 McArdle left The Economist and moved to Washington, D.C., to work as a full-time blogger for The Atlantic, keeping "Asymmetrical Information" as her blog's name.[11]

In 2009, she criticized an article in Playboy by eXile Online editors Mark Ames and Yasha Levine, detailing the influence of the Koch brothers in American and Tea Party politics. Playboy took down the article as a result of the negative response.[12][13]

By 2010, McArdle had also become The Atlantic's business and economics editor. In February 2010, her blog lost the title "Asymmetrical Information", as The Atlantic switched to having every blog (except Andrew Sullivan's The Daily Dish) be identified solely by its author.[14]

She was a Bernard L. Schwartz fellow at the public policy think tank New America.[15]

In June 2012, McArdle left The Atlantic, and started writing for Newsweek/The Daily Beast.[16]

In June 2013, McArdle announced that she was departing Newsweek to join Bloomberg View as a columnist.[17]

McArdle is an occasional television and radio commentator, having appeared on The Kudlow Report,[18] Fareed Zakaria GPS,[19][20] and American Public Media's Marketplace.[21]

McArdle joined the Washington Post as an opinion columnist in March 2018.[22]

Views[edit]

McArdle has described herself as a "right-leaning libertarian."[23] David Brooks categorized her as part of a group of bloggers who "start from broadly libertarian premises but do not apply them in a doctrinaire way."[24]

Ron Paul[edit]

McArdle has been critical of the libertarian politician Ron Paul, taking him to task for not strongly disavowing racist statements that appeared in his newsletters,[25] arguing against his championing of tax credits, and accusing him of lacking specificity about cutting government spending.[26] McArdle was also quoted as saying that Ron Paul "doesn't understand anything about monetary policy," and that "he wastes all of his time on the House Financial Services Committee ranting crazily."[27]

U.S. automotive bailout[edit]

In late 2008, McArdle wrote extensively against a proposed federal bailout of the U.S. auto industry (which ultimately occurred in early 2009). In November 2008, various of McArdle's blog posts on the subject were quoted approvingly by conservative commentators David Brooks,[28] Michael Barone[29] and John Podhoretz,[30] among others.

National health care[edit]

Since 2009, McArdle has argued extensively against instituting a system of national health insurance in the United States, and specifically against the federal health care reform bill the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which was signed into law in March 2010. In addition to a number of blog posts on the subject, she also wrote an article, "Myth Diagnosis", in the March 2010 Atlantic.[31]

In a July 2009 blog post, McArdle listed two reasons that she objected to such a system: first, that it would stifle innovation, because "Monopolies are not innovative, whether they are public or private," and second, that "Once the government gets into the business of providing our health care, the government gets into the business of deciding whose life matters, and how much."[32] Commentator Ezra Klein of The Washington Post criticized this post, writing, "In 1,600 words, she doesn't muster a single link to a study or argument, nor a single number that she didn't make up (what numbers do exist come in the form of thought experiments and assumptions). Megan's argument against national health insurance boils down to a visceral hatred of the government."[33]

In an August 2009 post, McArdle reiterated, "My objection is primarily, as I've said numerous times, that the government will destroy innovation. It will do this by deciding what constitutes an acceptable standard of care, and refusing to fund treatment above that. It will also start controlling prices."[34]

In a comment to that post, McArdle stated, "The United States currently provides something like 80–90% of the profits on new drugs and medical devices. Perhaps you think you can slash profits 80% with no effect on the behavior of the companies that make these products. I don't." In a subsequent Washington Post online chat, a commenter asked her, "You said that medical innovation will be wiped out if we have a type of national health care, because European drug companies get 80% of their revenue from Americans. Where did you get this statistic?" McArdle responded that it was "a hypothetical, not a statistic." This was criticized in a blog post in The New Republic.[35] In response to this criticism, McArdle stated that she had misunderstood the question, and "thought the commenter was referring to the postulated hypothetical destruction of all US profits." She also stated that, though "there are no hard numbers available", she estimated that the U.S. contribution to pharmaceutical profits was at least 60%.[36]

The article "Myth Diagnosis" was quoted approvingly by conservative writer Timothy P. Carney of The San Francisco Examiner.[37]

Heartland Institute document controversy[edit]

In 2012 Peter Gleick of the Pacific Institute claimed he had received "an anonymous document in the mail describing what appeared to be details of the Heartland Institute's climate program strategy" to discredit global warming, and distributed what he claimed to be a Heartland "Strategy Memo"[38] In a series of posts in February 2012, McArdle argued that the alleged Heartland memo circulated by Gleick was faked.[39][40][41]

Personal life[edit]

McArdle married Peter Suderman, an associate editor for the libertarian Reason magazine, in 2010.[42]

She was a vegan for a year in 2008, which she ended due to the diet complicating management of her previously diagnosed Hashimoto's thyroiditis.[43]

Bibliography[edit]

  • The Up Side of Down: Why Failing Well Is the Key to Success (ISBN 067002614X)

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ GCA is an advocacy group for the construction and concrete industry of New York City, describing itself on its website Archived 2012-07-08 at the Wayback Machine. as dedicated "to promoting infrastructure investment, private development, fair contract provisions, enhanced bidding opportunities, and a safe work environment" for the industry.
  2. ^ "Megan McArdle, Peter Suderman". The New York Times. 2010-06-11. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 2018-02-13. Retrieved 2018-03-06. 
  3. ^ "Sorry, Kids. This Columnist Won't Write Your Essay for You". Bloomberg View. 2015-12-15. Archived from the original on 2017-10-25. Retrieved 2018-03-06. 
  4. ^ Geras, Norman (2007-06-15). "The normblog profile 195: Megan McArdle". Normblog. Archived from the original on 2017-07-04. Retrieved 2018-03-06. 
  5. ^ "AFF Doublethink Online » What's Your Story?". Americasfuture.org. 2013-01-29. Archived from the original on 2012-02-21. Retrieved 2013-02-03. 
  6. ^ Twitter / daveweigel: One odd thing about that NYT Archived 2014-09-21 at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ Brooks, David (2012-11-19). "The Conservative Future". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 28 November 2012. Retrieved 28 November 2012. 
  8. ^ McArdle, Megan (May 21, 2003). "Untitled". Asymmetrical Information. Archived from the original on May 23, 2003. Retrieved January 23, 2013. 
  9. ^ Leo, John. "Aphorisms: the best of the least". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 7 March 2018. 
  10. ^ McArdle, Megan (April 2, 2005). "A really, really, really long post about gay marriage that does not, in the end, support one side or the other". Asymmetrical Information. Archived from the original on April 6, 2005. Retrieved January 23, 2013. 
  11. ^ "McArdle Leaves The Economist For The Atlantic" Archived 2009-05-31 at the Wayback Machine. FishBowlDC
  12. ^ "Dylan Ratigan Makes It Official: Mark Ames & Yasha Levine Broke The Koch Brothers' Takeover Of America" Archived 2013-05-03 at the Wayback Machine., March 24, 2011
  13. ^ "Playboy dips a toe into investigative journalism" Archived 2016-11-24 at the Wayback Machine., The Atlantic, March 2, 2009
  14. ^ "Housekeeping Note" Archived 2013-05-27 at the Wayback Machine., February 25, 2010
  15. ^ "Previous Classes". New America. Archived from the original on 6 March 2018. Retrieved 1 March 2018. 
  16. ^ "Farewell" Archived 2012-06-13 at the Wayback Machine., June 10, 2012
  17. ^ Bloomgarden-Smoke, Karen (17 June 2013). "Megan McArdle Leaves Newsweek for Bloomberg View". New York Observer. Archived from the original on 20 June 2013. Retrieved 1 July 2013. Megan McArdle is leaving Newsweek for Bloomberg View, where she will cover the economy, business, politics and national affairs as a columnist. 
  18. ^ "End of the Recession?", The Kudlow Report, October 29, 2009
  19. ^ "Sunday Show Preview" Archived 2009-12-21 at the Wayback Machine. FishbowlDC
  20. ^ Fareed Zakaria GPS Transcript Archived 2009-03-26 at the Wayback Machine., CNN, March 22, 2009
  21. ^ "Weekly Wrap: Another bubble?" Archived 2012-07-16 at Archive.is, Marketplace, November 13, 2009.
  22. ^ "Megan McArdle named Washington Post Opinions columnist". Washington Post. Archived from the original on 15 February 2018. Retrieved 14 February 2018. 
  23. ^ McArdle, Megan. "Silicon Valley Will Pay the Price for Its Lefty Leanings". Bloomberg. Archived from the original on 21 February 2018. Retrieved 20 February 2018. 
  24. ^ Brooks, David (2012-11-19). "The Conservative Future". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 28 November 2012. Retrieved 28 November 2012. 
  25. ^ Megan McArdle (January 8, 2010) "Ron Paul roundup" Archived 2017-01-26 at the Wayback Machine., The Atlantic.
  26. ^ Ron Paul on taxes Archived 2017-01-26 at the Wayback Machine., Megan McArdle, December 28, 2007
  27. ^ Weigel, David (December 10, 2010), "Congratulations! Now Shut Up.: Why Ron Paul's newfound power both pleases and worries libertarians." Archived 2010-12-12 at the Wayback Machine., Slate
  28. ^ David Brooks (November 18, 2008), "Bailout to Nowhere" Archived 2017-03-21 at the Wayback Machine., The New York Times
  29. ^ Michael Barone (November 15, 2008), Detroit Automakers a Relic of the Past Archived 2009-01-07 at the Wayback Machine., Human Events
  30. ^ John Podhoretz (November 11, 2008), "Bailouts Necessary and Unnecessary" Archived 2009-02-08 at the Wayback Machine., Commentary
  31. ^ Megan McArdle (March 2010) Myth Diagnosis Archived 2012-08-07 at the Wayback Machine., The Atlantic
  32. ^ Megan McArdle (July 28, 2009), A Long, Long Post About My Reasons For Opposing National Health Care Archived 2017-05-21 at the Wayback Machine., The Atlantic
  33. ^ "Megan McArdle's Case Against National Health Insurance. Sort of". The Washington Post. 
  34. ^ Megan McArdle (August 13, 2009) "What Does It Mean To Have a Private Health Care System" Archived 2017-05-26 at the Wayback Machine., The Atlantic
  35. ^ "Megan McArdle's Word Games" Archived 2011-08-30 at the Wayback Machine. The New Republic
  36. ^ Megan McArdle (September 2, 2009), Does the US Really Account for So Much Pharma Profit? Archived 2017-02-14 at the Wayback Machine., The Atlantic
  37. ^ Timothy P. Carney (February 28, 2011), "Turns out ObamaCare might not save hundreds of thousands of lives" Archived 2013-06-03 at the Wayback Machine., The San Francisco Examiner – Beltway Confidential (blog)
  38. ^ Gleick, P. H. (February 20, 2012), "The Origin of the Heartland Documents" Archived 2013-11-11 at the Wayback Machine., The Huffington Post.
  39. ^ McArdle, Megan (2012-02-16). "Leaked Docs From Heartland Institute Cause a Stir—but Is One a Fake?". The Atlantic. Archived from the original on October 26, 2012. Retrieved November 27, 2012. 
  40. ^ McArdle, Megan (2012-02-17). "Heartland Memo Looking Faker by the Minute". The Atlantic. Archived from the original on 25 October 2012. Retrieved 27 November 2012. 
  41. ^ McArdle, Megan (2012-02-21). "Peter Gleick Confesses to Obtaining Heartland Documents Under False Pretenses". The Atlantic. Archived from the original on 27 November 2012. Retrieved 27 November 2012. 
  42. ^ "Megan McArdle, Peter Suderman". The New York Times. June 11, 2010. Archived from the original on December 28, 2016. 
  43. ^ McArdle, Megan (31 July 2008), "The end of an era" Archived 2016-12-20 at the Wayback Machine.. The Atlantic.

External links[edit]