Inside Opinion

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Meet our new columnist, the UWT’s Katie Baird

Post by Patrick O'Callahan on Oct. 8, 2010 at 3:42 pm with 10 Comments »
October 8, 2010 3:42 pm

The readers of this opinion section do not cut me much slack.

Our goal is to run a nonpartisan and ideologically balanced open forum. We shoot for rough parity between lefties and righties in our national columnists and devote most of our oped space to debate on regional and state issues. Letters that challenge our editorial positions are given priority treatment.

If people think we’ve got our thumb on the scale, I hear about it. Until recently I’d been hearing a lot from liberals about our lack of a counterpoint to Richard S. Davis, who writes about state issues – especially fiscal policy – from a conservative perspective.

Patience, I’d plead, patience. I’m looking. We don’t want just anyone.

If you’ve been following these pages, you’ve probably noticed that our search is over. We have added Katie Baird to our lineup, and we couldn’t be happier about it.

Baird caught our eye last March when she wrote a counterintuitive piece arguing that increasing taxes in a recession is economically smarter than cutting education and social welfare programs. It wasn’t just the opinion; it was the careful reasoning and thoughtful tone.

Turns out she has extraordinary credentials. Associate professor of economics at the University of Washington Tacoma. Ph.D. in economics from the University of Massachusetts. Her specialties include access to college, educational standards, public sector economics, and – OK, this is a little odd – Cuban baseball. Baird happens to be quite an authority on the economics of sports.

Like Davis, Baird knows the state and the South Sound well. Also like Davis, she’s is an engaging writer who can squeeze complex thoughts into simple sentences. They both traffic in ideas and persuasion, not red meat and ridicule. Readers who prefer the latter can find plenty of it elsewhere.

On Sunday, Baird offers her take on remedial education. You’ll be seeing a lot more of her in the future.

Leave a comment Comments → 10
  1. jimkingjr says:

    Well, I guess a knee-jerk liberal to match a knee-jerk conservative- why can’t we dump both and get some writers who will get outside of the boxes?

    Or maybe additional, thoughtful REPORTERS who can get outb and cover the news? As good as Jordan Schrader as turned out to be, as good as Pete Calaghan is, and as much as the OLympian’s Brad Shannon offer, there is still way too little presence in covering state government. Your readers would be begtter off with less opinionated opinion and more NEWS COVERAGE.

  2. rockrabbit says:

    I look forward to reading Baird’s column. It would be great if the TNT could display its non-ed board editorial content more prominently on the home page — I often forget to look at it because it’s a little bit buried.

  3. richardsdavis says:

    Welcome, Katie.

    I look forward to reading your commentary.


  4. I demand a raging moderate! Ok, not really demand but humbly request if you get around to it sometime. Or not. I could go either way.

  5. Hoodsportwriter says:

    Let us hope she is not as boring as Richard Davis and doesn’t repeat the same recorded loop column after column (cut taxes to the rich and business – get rid of the bad government – it is all the teachers, unions, public employees (fill in the blank) fault! Yada yada yada Republican propaganda. Hopefully she really does think about stuff – unlike Davis !

    But the TNT still carries the two well documented liars – George Will and Uncle Chuckles – don’t even bother to read that junk anymore!

  6. tree_guy says:

    Richard Davis is an amazing writer…I would say brilliant. Hope Katie Baird’s columns are just as interesting.

  7. Hoodsportwriter says:

    Tree_guy you are going to have to get out of that tree now and again and get in touch with the real world…”amazing”? Only that someone can keep writing the same drivel over and over without any new ideas or thoughts and it keeps getting published…of course published for a smaller and smaller public every year….The TNT management might give that fact a little consideration as a matter of fact….

  8. johnearl says:


    That was funny.

  9. johnearl says:

    An excellent first column by Ms. Baird. It (again) highlights the conflict between the goals of raising academic achievement and increasing graduation rates.

    What we measure matters. If we focus primarily on graduation rates, we run the risk of graduating more students who cannot function in college level courses. Forced to choose between the two, an emphasis on academic achievement is the better choice.

  10. Toute ma sympatie Je commence d’entrevoir cette partie � midi ou � minuit c’est adorable affectueux;)

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