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Megan McArdle

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Name  Megan McArdle

Role  Blogger
Megan McArdle Megan McArdle Wikipedia the free encyclopedia

Books  The Up Side of Down: Why Failing Well Is the Key to Success
Education  University of Pennsylvania, University of Chicago
Similar People  Barry Ritholtz, Noah Feldman, Ross Douthat, Rod Dreher, Will Wilkinson

Megan mcardle the up side of down

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


Megan McArdle brightsightgroupcomwpcontentuploads201405mc

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. Publications she has worked for include The Economist, The Atlantic, Newsweek/The Daily Beast and Bloomberg View. She was a Bernard L. Schwartz fellow at The New America Foundation. She has also published book reviews and opinion pieces in the New York Post, The New York Sun, Reason, The Guardian and Salon.

Megan McArdle About Megan McArdle

Megan mcardle freeing the economy september 17 2013

Early life and education

Megan McArdle Megan McArdle Why Failing Well is the Key to Success

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) during the Koch, Dinkins, and Giuliani administrations. Her mother, Joan McArdle, was a real estate broker for Prudential Douglas Elliman.

McArdle attended high school at Riverdale Country School. 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.

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.”


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 spite of that association, McArdle's political perspective could best be described as moderate libertarian or classical liberal. 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. 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."

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

Dave Weigel called McArdle "the original blogger-turned-MSM journo".

In 2012, David Brooks called McArdle one of the most influential bloggers on the right, writing that she is among those who "start from broadly libertarian premises but do not apply them in a doctrinaire way."

Ron Paul

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, arguing against his championing of tax credits, and accusing him of lacking specificity about cutting government spending. 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."

U.S. automotive bailout

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, Michael Barone and John Podhoretz, among others.

National health care

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 passed in March 2010. In addition to a number of blog posts on the subject, she also wrote an article on the subject, "Myth Diagnosis", in the March 2010 Atlantic.

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." 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."

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."

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. 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%.

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

Heartland Institute document controversy

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" In a series of posts in February 2012, McArdle argued that the alleged Heartland memo circulated by Gleick was faked.

Personal life

McArdle married Peter Suderman, an associate editor for the libertarian Reason magazine, in 2010. She was a vegan for a year in 2008, which she ended due to a soy allergy caused by Hashimoto's thyroiditis. She has written: "I must stand up for vegan or vegetarian 'chicken' nuggets. They are delicious. Even though I now eat meat again, I still prefer the vegetarian version to the 'real' thing, especially after seeing what chicken nuggets are made from."


Megan McArdle Wikipedia