I have been a life member since the 70s. I received my PhD at Harvard in 1980. Back in Australia I have worked in Treasury, the Prime Minister's Department, the Office of the Economic Planning Advisory Council, as Private Secretary to a Senator, an economic consultant and now as a practising lawyer. I flatter myself that I perhaps know a little bit more about the realities of government and taxation policy and practice than most academic economists. Every now and then (not often), I see an article in the AER of interest and write to the authors with a comment. Most do not reply and, in one case, I got a rather arrogant reply which fudged the question. Given that there are probably few readers of most articles, I wonder why a reader does not get the courtesy of a response to a private comment? Does one have to sit down and write a public comment to the effect that the author is a bloody fool, his model is silly, the real world does not give a fig for his model and he (or she) does not know what he is talking about?
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