Naturally, it's the comments at his post that freaked him out. I'm still winding my through them, but this stuff is mild compared to the excrement Sadly No! will rain down your blog. Professor Henderson apologized for the post here, and he announced his blogging retirement here. One of my rules is not to blog too much about my personal life, and especially details about my family. No one says it better than the professor himself:
The reason for this note is because I’ve decided to hang up my blogging hat. I was a fool, and I didn’t anticipate how this kind of thing could happen. As many of our readers and my students know, I’m opinionated and willing to push boundaries. This is what I think is the role of a professor, and blogging allowed me to do it in an informal and diverse manner. But I misunderstood the technology, and the consequences are devastating for me personally. I wish I had just stuck to blogging about corporate law and such, but I couldn’t help myself. Self restraint would have been the better course. Perhaps someday I will return and limit my commentary to my academic areas of interest. For now though, I have to say good bye. I’ve enjoyed the experience and the interactions I’ve had with readers and, of course, my co-bloggers. I am sad to leave, but my family has to come first, and my blogging has caused them incalculable damage.Kashmir Hill responds:
That, with all due respect, is the wrong move. By exiting from the conversation, he’s losing a strong defender of his ideas, as well as the chance to take back control of his Google footprint. His post was a huge success, generating a serious conversation about a tax hike and how to define “rich.” Among the productive comments driving the conversation forward were personal attacks on Henderson, as noted and lamented by Henderson’s co-blogger Larry Ribstein. “If the comments to this blog over the last week represent the state of the discussion we are having about economic policy,” wrote Ribstein. “Then I truly fear for this country’s future.”Again, as I'm posting this, I'm still working my way through the comments. I've yet to find something truly vicious. (And recall I recently had a commenter suggest: "... get over yourself douchebag, you're nothing but a bag of meat and your thoughts and desires are meaningless and you are a worthless" piece of shit.) That said, I'm astounded at how a few of the comments indicate that Professor Henderson isn't entitled to keep his own money, nor decide how he should spend it:
The gist of it is this guy is whining that his GARDENER and his HOUSEKEEPER will suffer and you are CRYING for him??? Shame on your greedy little hearts. He’s going to have to give up extra lessons for his kid? He may have to *gasp* enroll them in PUBLIC SCHOOL??? Will the tragedy never end for him? I love the (implied) impossibility of finding a home with a lower mortgage in a less chic area (by the way, before you hop on your fear stallions, not everything that is “less chic” is a “cesspool of seething drug crime”. Even in Chicago).And again, in another iteration:
No one ENVIES this putz. We PITY him for his tremendous effort to cling to his undeserved entitlement issues. This isn’t an “increase” in taxes. It’s a roll back.
Think of it like this: you get a coupon from the supermarket and now cereal is cheaper. Then the coupon EXPIRES. Then you cry and sue the supermarket. Wait… you DON’T cry and sue the supermarket? Then, please, shut up. Whiner.The tax rate is going BACK to what it WAS. Was this guy BORN in 2001? If not, he survived prior to the roll back.
The entitlement issue is being able to afford a gardener, a maid, a nanny, private school and side classes for his kids and still have money left over because he gets to keep the temporray tax rate and make it permanent. If he isn’t “rich”, then the private school, gardener, et al, are sacrifices that will cost him just like they would the REST of us “not rich” folks. Hey, guess what? Most of us DON’T GET THOSE THINGS BECAUSE WE CAN’T AFFORD THEM (being “not rich” and all).Scrolling down, I found a pretty angry attack on Professor Henderson, which concludes:
Only someone who BELIEVES he DESERVES those things would cling to them in a time of financial crisis. That sounds like an “entitlement issue” to me (See… it means he believes he deserves it= “entitlement” and it is causing him stress and problems= “issue”. Get it?).
Your essay was not amusing. It illustrates the selfish, mean-spirited, whining, wimpering, short-sighted, scrofulitic tone that now pervades politics from the right.But that's about the meanest thing I've found, and I've learned that "scrofulitic" means "morally degenerate." And for what? As one of the commenters defending Professor Henderson pointed out, the guy's already paying $100,000 a year in income taxes. His spending is out of whack, sure, but whose isn't? Brad DeLong takes him to task for that and uses poor family budgeting as a case for paying more in taxes. If it were me, I'd see if we could cut spending, especially on Social Security, Medicare, state welfare entitlements, and education. And yes, defense spending. Americans are over-taxed. Maybe Professor Henderson should have been more judicious in his blogging, not to mention his household budgeting. But what's really alarming is how the leftists think that what he earns is theirs. And that's anti-American.