"Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking" - JMK
- First, a jigsaw puzzle roundup. Steve Horwitz started things the other day by using a jigsaw puzzle metaphor to explain the difference between Austrians and Keynesians. Don Boudreaux concurred. I let them keep their description of themselves but corrected some misunderstandings of the Keynesian claim. Brad DeLong linked to me. I clarified what I thought the heart of the problem was - people read things like ditch-digging and assume Keynes was talking about make-work projects, when really his point was closer to Friedman's helicopter drop. Jonathan Catalan likes the metaphor if we keep in mind that it's oversimplified, and calls attention to Hutt's view on idle resources (which is often presented as an alternative to Keynes, but it strikes me as being different... more complementary than supplementary). Samuel Wonacott responds here. I was also fascinated to see the Joint Economic Committee Republicans' blog pick up Steve Horwitz and Don Boudreaux on this - and a Mercatus Center link. It's always interesting to see Austrians claim how hot and heavy Washington is for Keynesians and how they're shut out. Republican Congressmen are posting their stuff. Wouldn't it be great if Paul Krugman and Brad DeLong were on the White House blogroll? Ya - that's not happening. And while Hayek's portrait is up in at least two Congressional offices, I doubt Keynes is up in anyone's. Interesting to see that. Did I miss anyone's?
- Evan blogs about how theologians grapple with history
- Robert Vienneau blogs about Card and Krueger's work on the minimum wage and recent evidence.
- Scott Kuhagen updates us on Cucinelli's assault on Mr. Jefferson's University.
- Many people have pointed to Will Wilkinson's summary of the literature on the economics of disasters. I did a search on this literature too shortly after the earthquake, when all the broken window fallacy slandering was going on, and I came up with a lot of the cites that Wilkinson provides. Much of these are publicly available - it's worth a look. This is an empirical question, guys. It's not a morality play. It doesn't seem like we're likely to see any silver lining from this, but the logic of a silver lining from disasters is not crazy - you just have to be careful in how you talk about it and what precisely it is that you're claiming.
2 hours ago