"Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking" - JMK
- More wisdom from Gene Callahan. I've commented on this rhetoric of stimulus in the past. What really baffles me is that we haven't seen any fiscal stimulus since 2009 (and that was underwhelming)... at what point do Bob and others start saying things like "for the last two years we've tried a spending freeze and that hasn't worked - let's try stimulus!". I'm not holding my breath.
- In John Taylor's world, liberals are free spirits who like to make policy erratically and conservatives are the ones who like to operate on the basis of rules. In the real world, liberals propose monetary and fiscal policy rules too, John Taylor knows this, and John Taylor pretends he doesn't know this for God knows what reason. There's a large literature on the importance of rule-based policy that recognizes there are a lot of problems with the original Taylor rule. That's to be expected, right? Since when has science been right the first time? Taylor, you would think, would recognize this - perhaps register his disagreements with alternative versions of his rule - and be comfortable with the knowledge that he initiated the discussion. Instead, he's chosen this nasty route of pretending that no one else knows what they're talking about and that they don't favor rule-based policy because they don't favor his version of rule-based policy.
- The blogs I cite here dispute economics Nobel prizes a lot, and often act as if the mere existence of disputes in certain prizes (Hayek and Myrdal most prominently) somehow is a black mark on economics. It turns out prize controversies are not unique to economics. For the most part, these things bore me. 99% of the time people who complain about the prize are whining about someone that they don't like and completely neglecting the scientific contributions of the winners. Paul Krugman's richly deserved award brought out a lot of ugliness in this vein - same with Stiglitz. I was equally put off by the reaction to the Ostrom/Williamson prize as if it was some kind of refutation of the Krugman prize - as if economists who read and use Krugman's work don't read Ostrom or don't read Williamson, or as if Ostrom and Williamson somehow contradict Krugman!!! The politicization of science can be ugly, but we're not unique in that regard. Perhaps we are politicized to a different degree because of subject matter - but we're not unique.