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Today's Tnr Review Of Columnists

Reihan notes that Paul Krugman and David Brooks have both, eerily, written columns on the topic of height today. I'd add that, if this was an accident, it's something they should do more often. It's like a writing exercise where two writers get the same topic and do it any way they can. Both columnists are at their best. Krugman gives a very smart, logical, and detailed analysis of an issue I knew nothing about before. Brooks offers up some very funny and endearing comic-sociological observations. Somehow, the similarity of topic gives a great insight into how two different but very smart minds operate.

Next Friday, in my imaginary role as Times op-ed editor, I'm assigning Brooks and Krugman to write about... let's see ... the movie Waitress. (It's the last movie I've seen.) Krugman could give us some insight into the economic standing of non-college educated single female workers, and Brooks could explore changing attititudes toward marriage and child-rearing among rural women. Or they could find some other topic. It would be great, I tell you.

--Jonathan Chait