Maybe I should ask to write my own headlines

by John Quiggin on September 13, 2011

My piece in the National Interest is now up under the exciting headline China’s imminent collapse. That’s great for reader interest – the piece has only been up a few hours and is already #1 on the Most Popular list, but I fear readers will perceive a bit of bait and switch when they reach the conclusion

Given the opacity of the system, there is no way of telling how and when a breakdown might occur except to observe that is likely to be precipitated by an economic crisis of some kind. Moreover, there is no way to tell whether a crisis would produce a relatively smooth transition towards democracy or something more chaotic and perhaps bloody.

Paul Krugman tells me he gets to choose his own headlines, a rare privilege in the world of newspapers and magazines. I asked my Australian Fin Review editors about this and they have said I can suggest them if I want to, though the tradition there runs more to cute subeditorial puns that I can’t really replicate.

Meanwhile apologies to readers for not providing accessible links to the papers I mentioned in my previous post. Through a mental process I won’t try to explain, I’d convinced myself that simply uploading the papers to CT would result in the imminent collapse of our hosting facility. Looking at the filesize that’s silly. So here are near-final drafts of:

The Politics and Society piece on financial markets
The Chronicle of Higher Education piece on inequality and the admissions race