I am engaging in this publishing experiment due to the timeliness of the topic. I began writing this book about one year ago, and planned to be seeking a publisher now, a process that I have begun. However, a quick turnaround of the book would put it out next summer, and with the debt ceiling debate and the creation of the super committee, I decided that if this book was to have a chance of having an impact on the policy process I had to publish it now. I intend to seek a book contract for a fuller version with an academic press as well.
You can read more about the book — which Don calls a “polemic based on evidence” — at the link above. (I have not yet read it.) I note this only because I think these sorts of publishing experiments (see also Tyler Cowen’s The Great Stagnation) are a great way for academics to consider publishing certain kinds of work. The standard modes of long-form publishing aren’t quick enough to let academic perspectives speak to events as they are unfolding. So I applaud Don for going this route.