Saturday, October 11, 2014

Big Changes at EPJ

Some of you are not going to like this, maybe most of you.

EPJ is splitting up. Blame Walter Block. He was a major influence on me a long time ago, when somewhere around the age of 13 or 14, I read his book Defending the Undefendable. It made me a life long radical libertarian. He has influenced me again.

For some time, I have been thinking of making some changes at EPJ, It has been going more and more in the direction of libertarian commentary and beyond, rather than just economics. And then Walter recently wrote this:
I am a BIG fan of Robert Wenzel’s, both personally and professionally. I consider his electronic publication Economic Policy Journal ( the second best blog on the entire planet, right after Coming from me, that is high praise indeed.  (Minor criticism, that Journal does way, way more than “Economic Policy” and does virtually all of it brilliantly; certainly, it includes libertarian theory, foreign policy, political analysis, civil liberties, and much more. If Lew Rockwell calls his blog, perhaps he should change the name of this splendid effort of his to As it stands, his title, I think, is a bit too narrow).
That did it. The ideas that have been ruminating in the back of my mind about making changes at EPJ. I am now going to implement. However, I am not going to change the name of EPJ to (although I do own that web address). I am too much of a marketing man for that.

If I changed the name to RWC, I would lose my strong Google ranking and all the traffic that Google drives my way. Further, as a marketing man, I prefer blog titles that are in someway descriptive of the content.

So this is what I have decided to do. I am going to keep, but return it to its roots as a site that focuses on economics. But, I am also launching today, Target Liberty, which will include discussions and comments on libertarian theory, foreign policy, political analysis, civil liberties. etc.

This is a bit of a risky move on my part, I am not sure how you will all react, since you have been visiting EPJ, via bookmarks, Twitter notices and other feeds. But, in the long run, I think it will prove to make sense. With EPJ back to its roots as an economic policy site, it will likely attract a larger audience of those who are interested in my views on economics, but not the libertarianism.

As for those of you that are into the libertarian stuff, Target Liberty is going to be the place for you. That said, I think the biggest problem will be those of you who now think you are going to have to be flipping back and forth between two web sites.

I am going to make this as seamless as possible. Any major story that comes out at EPJ, I will post a comment about it at Target Liberty. So those of you that want full coverage will pretty much get it by going to Target Liberty. Those of you just interested in economics can go to EPJ and you won't get any of the libertarian plus stuff.

The way I plan to post at both sites is going to require me to put out even more content than I am already doing, so those of you that are Wenzel junkies are going to have a greater feast  placed before your eyes.

For those of you who plan to only visit EPJ, don't forget you can get all notices of the posts at EPJ via the Twitter feed @wenzeleconomics and on the right hand column at EPJ there is a list of other feeds available.

For those of you who plan to wander over to Target Liberty, the new twitter feed is @_targetliberty. There is also a link to other feeds on the right hand column at Target Liberty.

Again, for those of you who want to go to just one page of full Wenzel commentary, Target Liberty is going to be your spot, since I will be linking to major EPJ posts at Target Liberty and it will be easy (almost unnoticeable) to move back and forth.


  1. I can always be proven wrong, but this seems to me to be a case of "fixin' shit that ain't broke." It's not like you're blogging so many things that it's impossible to keep track of the posts. If this is a change meant to expand the number of bloggers (i.e. there's a business/economic case for the expansion), then I guess that's one thing. However, if it's just splitting the current site into economics vs liberty-specific issues, it's difficult to see how it makes anything better.

  2. A link to the other site on both sites would be appreciated.

  3. I'm not sure how this will work until it actually falls in place,but I would keep the approaching presidential election in mind as it approaches. You are the main libertarian critic of Rand Paul, which I think drives traffic to your site. During the Jess Benton/Ron Paul Inc scandal, this site was even credited by other well known mainstream websites. If Rand runs for president, this site could explode if you continue on the path you were on.

  4. Feed burner is having an issue with your new content:
    Not sure if you have RSS feeds enabled yet, but if not, please do!

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Fixin' what ain't broke is just the start of it. I think you will narrow your audience with this move. It might just be me, but "Economic Policy Journal" has a slight ring of high mindedness and insider knowledge to it.

    And the word Liberty in the title? Why not use Freedom, Tea Party, Constitution, or Militia? Or how about the Liberty Freedom Tea Party Blog Militia?

    It is sad when suggesting associating your product’s name with the highest goals of human existence is a bad marketing move, but isn’t this sort of name association gimmick that the mainstream does when they either cynically or ironically name their departments, institutions and foundations?

    Economics is the science of everything so I think you have staked out a nice patch for yourself and us bystanders.

  7. I would have to agree with the "not broke" assessment, Dr Block notwithstanding. As for the site itself, I like the layout, and especially like the clean sanserif font. Just wish it were a tad larger (for my old eyes).

    1. That can be adjusted with a keyboard command. On a mac it is "CMD" and "+" or "-"

  8. Contrary to some other comments on here, I think you're pretty up on understanding the segments of people you're trying to get at. Given that some people do only want to hear the economic information and not have to deal with the political undertones, I feel this is a smart move on your part. This is about maximizing your brand to the widest possible audience.

    Also, in response to the if it isn't broke don't fix it crowd, I'm 180 degree opposite this school of thought. As I'm very sure you're extremely aware, competition never sleeps. Continuous innovation is what makes a market leader. Continuously tweaking products and services to better meet your customer's needs is the best way to drive people to your brand. This isn't your personal hobby, you're attempting to earn a living off this stuff. So, if it ain't broke, by all means break it. Experiment. A/B test. Just be sure to measure the changes! Good luck and may your data you're collecting be valid!

  9. Give it a shot and see what happens. I beg to differ with Dr Block in that this is my first port of call. has gone, over a long period of time from being almost magical, packed to the brim with long fascinating essays to now, a bit padded out.

  10. Whatever you want to do, but you built an audience here.

  11. Don't agree with your reasoning on this Bob, or Walter's. Love the fact that your current blog content covers just about everything I'm interested in concerning political economy. Your blog is the first that I go to in the morning and, damn, I don't need or want another click! Hopefully the data you collect after the change will convince you to...change back.

  12. Crap... bottom line, I'll have to visit two sites now, despite the promise to cross post top stories. For me, this is not a good move, but on the whole, it's quite possible you're doing the right thing, Bob. We'll see.

  13. As long as you post the stories here at EPJ, I'll visit.

  14. It's your move and I think it is a fine idea. I will be going to both every day just like I go to the dozen or so sites for content. It will just be another bookmark in my bookmark toolbar. If it ain't broke, don't fix it is fine and all, but I don't think this applies in this case. I don't see it turning into an unmitigated disaster at any rate and once both sites are going full swing then I think most everyone will get used to the change.

  15. I have been coming here for several years, and no matter how my tastes in news have changed, EPJ has remained one of the sites I go to almost daily. Personally I think your proposed change makes sense. The "economics" has become lost sometime among the politics and commentary (which is fine, but does seem to dilute the original intent). My only concern is that you would burn out trying to maintain content for both. Honestly, I don't know how you do it. Good luck to you, and I will try to visit both sites.

  16. Although I find the layout reasonably pleasing to look at, it takes a fairly long time to load. I assume this is a result of the rendering engine and all the small parts of the page that probably aren't rendered efficiently. I suffer through the loading to see EPJ, but it's unlikely I'll do that for two different web sites.

  17. Put a link to it at the top of this page and do the same at the other site.