The Trouble with Two-Handed Economists

Michael Giberson

An economist is quoted in Platts’ Megawatt Daily commenting on a proposal within ERCOT to apply the same performance standards to wind farms as apply to other generators:

On the one hand, it is desirable to have all market players working under the same rules, but on the other hand, rules are usually made with the existing status quo in mind, and when new technologies come along, they don’t always fit neatly with the pre-existing rules.

That certainly does sound like an economist:

  • Stereotypical “On the one hand”/”on the other hand” phrasing? Check.
  • Long, complicated wording of point without much content? Check.
  • Bonus for more than 40 words in a sentence? Check.
  • Double bonus for using five commas in a sentence? Check.

Yes, unfortunately is looks like I was quoted correctly.  At least they spelled my name right and mentioned my employer: “Michael Giberson, an economist at the Texas Tech University Center for Energy Commerce.”

Any publicity is good publicity, right?

3 thoughts on “The Trouble with Two-Handed Economists

  1. Is it permissible to write (or say) “It depends”, instead of using the more accepted, “One the one hand”?

    I thought I came by my long, long sentences and multiple commas naturally, but it appears I have just been reading too many economics books and blogs.

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