Friday, June 13, 2008

Mr. Orwell, please call your office.

In this report on Jason Furman's appointment as Obama's chief economic advisor, I was struck by the line "Going farther back, liberal activists resented former President Clinton's support for free trade, ... and other centrist policies."

The usage of "liberal" here is the exact opposite of its historical meaning. Indeed, is there any more quintessentially liberal policy than free trade?

From this we learn not only something about the evolution of language but also something about the historical knowledge of people who write for the LA Times.

Hat tip: Greg Mankiw