Monday, November 26, 2012

Former Supply-Side Guru

Bruce Bartlett declares: "For the record, no one has been more correct in his analysis and prescriptions for the economy’s problems than Paul Krugman. The blind hatred for him on the right simply pushed me further away from my old allies and comrades."

Meanwhile, talking about blind... well, not hatred, but at least contempt, Bob Murphy takes two completely consistent statements by Krugman, which Krugman himself told us how to reconcile in a blog post, and tries to claim they are wildly inconsistent! Murphy is stunned by "Krugman now saying such threats [from our government's deficit] are impossible according to economic theory," completely ignoring the bit about "for a country in our situation." Because, you know, the US in 2003 was not in the situation the US is now, is it? For instance, the US in 2003 was not in a liquidity trap, which, according to Krugman, it is now.

It is one thing to question Krugman's analysis, and, for instance, deny the importance of liquidity traps. But to think that his worrying about the US deficit in 2003 is inconsistent with his not worrying about it in 2012 is blind indeed.


  1. For what it's worth, Gene, your seemingly knee-jerk defense of Krugman vis-a-vis me lately, has led me to stop worrying that I'm being a jerk when you object.

    What I thought went without saying here is this: How could Krugman get so mad--to the point of accusing people of not having an economic model and taking pay from Pete Peterson--at people who perhaps are thinking that a debt crisis wouldn't suddenly end once unemployment dropped to 4%? You yourself admitted that was a good question when I raised it.

    Is that really such a huge leap I made there? For me to think that if Krugman could be horrified in 2003, that some people right now could be horrified at a non-liquidity trap economy facing the same thing (but with 3x as much debt/GDP) in 2014?

    And that Krugman is being a complete jerk for saying anybody who even thinks such a thing, is a lying idiot?

    The fact that you are calling me "blind" for making this perfectly reasonable point, makes me stop worrying when you criticize me for going overboard on Krugman. Krugman is totally out of line with his insults thrown at people who are worrying about just what he was, and either (a) disagree that high unemployment is a shield against inflation and/or (b) can look two moves ahead in a chess game.

    1. I gave quite the same answer to Transfomer in this post of you. I didn't receive an answer.

      Whatever, a real Keynesian I guess would have answered "In the long run we are all dead"...

      Let's find out. Japan now is the future for the US. And at the moment the future is known, markets tend to speed things up to get known things over with...

    2. I am refering only to the point about thinking ahead.

      Not the personal stuff of course...

    3. skylien: "In the long run we are all dead"...Let's find out.

      Very droll.

  2. "[I will] stop worrying when you criticize me for going overboard on Krugman"

    @Bob: Gene made a pertinent remark to me during the Great Debt War when I jested that neither of us is likely to be pleased finding an ally in the other. Gene said in fact he was pleased in fact as normally I am not on the pro-Krugman side, rather the reverse, gave him reassurance. That looks to me like a man aware of confirmation bias and guarding against it. Your comment here on the other hand ...

    Look, I disagree with Gene a lot. Espceically of course on religion. But he's a very sharp, serious guy. (Plus he likes Igor Stravinsky.) He's not just trash talking. You really shoudn't see his reaction as evidence you're on the right track, as you might with a partisan hack like [insert name here].


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