Game, Set and Match

I was about to set out building an OLG model in which the later generations benefit at the expense of the earlier ones, but I see Daniel Kuehn has done it for me. That's it folks, it's all over. This demonstrates quite plainly that it is the transfers, not the debt, that matters. Krugman was right in the first place.

Side note: While I think Bob was genuinely convinced of his case, I am certain (from reading the comments) that half the people at his blog had no idea what was going on, and were basically just chanting, "Yeah! Krugman wrong again! Ooh-ooh-ooh!"


  1. To play the devils advocate and also be fair to Dr. Murphy's commentators- a lot of Krugman's commentators do exactly the same thing when he goes after John Cochrane or Robert Barro for some of their comments on fiscal stimulus. You are right though that some people seemed to think the question was about the morality of the transfer (obviously PK and Bob would never agree on that).

    I think Krugman's involvement in this whole thing is pretty muddling. I won't single out anybody in particular on this, at least partially because I think it applies pretty generally to economics bloggers, but bringing his name up seems to be a great way to guarantee people will just keep talking past each other.

  2. Yes, Warren, it's not Bob's commentators: I think the majority of blog commentators on the Internet are like that. They have a "side," and absolutely any argument that advances their side sounds good to them.

    (Luckily, with rare exceptions like ZigZag here, most of my commentators are not like that: one of the benefits of being a dick!)

  3. Gene wrote:

    Side note: While I think Bob was genuinely convinced of his case...

    So just to be clear, you make three false statements about my position in a row, and now are kinda sorta conceding that maybe I've been at least sincere in this debate? Your magnanimity is overwhelming, dear Gene.

  4. Bob:

    1) I am a dick.
    2) While I was struggling to try to understand what you were doing (I still, for instance, haven't found where you laid out your "perfect foresight" assumption until you told me I was dumb for not realizing it was assumed), most people would refer to those things as "mistakes," not "false statements." The latter makes it sound like you think I was lying about your position.
    3) I think what I said is true of someone like MF. I wanted to be clear I don't think it is true of you. Would you rather I had left that part out?!

  5. What is it with you guys and OLG models? For National Income Accounting or Actuarial stuff- sure, it's bread and butter and maybe copping a feel of the Temp at the Xmas party, but for you guys?
    Your problem is you can't tell what is or what is or isn't an economic good. But, that's what Econ is about- not being a bad actuary.
    You cant construct concrete models of axiom systems, and think you're making a point, without explicitly and transparently subscribing to some sort of Rational Choice, Canonical, hermeneutic.
    You guys wont do that. Well, if it keeps you young and off Viagra- let me know. I'm serious.

  6. Windwheel, I'm not sure who you addressing. I had never heard of olg models before this week.

  7. You might want to read this comment, Gene. Apparently the coach from the other team challenged the winning touchdown.


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