Friday, June 24, 2011

Russ Roberts on Clinton and Keynes

He seems to intend this post to be entirely unironic. This is actually meant to be serious. No economist who's been teaching as many years as Russ has should write something like this. No student should write something like this.

This man is going on C-Span this weekend to talk to the public about Keynes, Hayek, and the recession. That's incredibly disheartening.


  1. Russ makes a lot of bad arguments, but this is a new low. I was stunned. I left a comment on Cafe Hayek.

    Doing a disservice to opposing views ultimately does a disservice to our own, because it is only in the challenge of opposition do we really learn what our own views entail.

  2. The Keynesian argument is that no pump priming was needed due to private investment, right? Is that what you are complaining about?

    Anyway, I don't think Clinton had any fiscal virtues; he had some political ones though.

    I'm guessing that Russ doesn't buy into the Keynesian argument so he does take the whole idea that fiscal stimulus is the problem in rough patches seriously, so he also doesn't take the opposite seriously.

    Maybe this was covered in the comments; if so, sorry.

  3. This man is going on C-Span this weekend to talk to the public about Keynes, Hayek, and the recession. That's incredibly disheartening.

    I agree with your first point, even though you don't seem to hold your ideological bedfellows to the same standard. You are just as partisan as all the rest of us, even thought might pretend otherwise. Anyways, I don't understand why you need to be disheartened. Do you have any prior experience of Russ purposefully misrepresenting others in public media appearances? Being hyper-partisan? Doing shoutfests? Being disingenuous?

    In fact, Russ runs one of the best interview programs I have ever listened to, and he does it week after week at I wish kings of trashtalk(de Long and such) would take a leaf or two from Russ's book on how to have a polite exchange of ideas, especially when those ideas are at odds with each other.

  4. "This man..." is incredibly condescending. Not only are you disingenuous (a long-standing trait), you're becoming arrogant. Or are you just having trouble hiding it now?

  5. I agree that Roberts is a very polite interviewer but that is definitely not the same thing as knowing what you are talking about or being intellectually honest/curious/rigorous.

    Also, I think Robert's gross side comes out when he interviews people he agrees with. Interviews with his drinking buddies are essentially nothing but completely unchallenged sophist junk like hes advancing in the article we are talking about.

  6. Andrew,

    I disagree.

    However, the more important issue is how unfair history has been to the Sophists.

  7. hahaha I read that Keynes/Sophist post on here and took it to heart. I paused for a moment before I decided to call Roberts a sophist.

  8. Andrew,

    I generally like Roberts' podcasts. Then again, not being an economist, I may be missing something. I honestly wish most disciplines had podcasts like EconTalk - but I've never come across anything like it besides Philosophy Bites.

    Yeah, unfortunately nothing has the punch like the term sophist as a descriptor.


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