Ryan has a good post up, and I agree with more of it than I suspect he thinks I would.
So I've said from the beginning that Hayek (and Greg Ransom) support NGDP stabilization, which - because we're talking about NGDP and we're talking about a particular level of NGDP you can call "NGDP targeting" if you so desire.
So I already recognize exactly what Ryan points out - that there are tons of Austrians out there that are somewhere along the NGDP targeting spectrum and thus who are not categorically different from Scott Sumner. I know not everyone is a Rothbardian (least of all people who are quickest to cite Hayek!), and I don't think I claimed that.
Part of how we got to this point, I think, is Greg Ransom's framing. He sees Bob's post which to me seemed to make a fairly obvious point and counters that Hayek didn't want to see deflation.
Nobody said he did (here, at least).
In other words, Greg broadened the debate considerably farther than the initial parameters that Bob was interested in, which was simply pointing out that Sumner would not sit well with Hayek. You want to point out that there is no categorical difference between Sumner and Hayek? I agree with that. But I still think Bob is right that there's a pretty big gulf between them. Hayek's concern was a stable price level. At around 2% inflation right now, I don't think he'd be embracing Sumner's demand to
Do you? Really?
And that's the point.
In the middle of a seminar, you may not see much of a difference between 0% MV growth and 5% MV growth. In the middle of a depression, I do. And that's ultimately what these things boil down to. We've got people between whom there is no categorical theoretical difference and a huge categorical practical difference.
If you just want to point out that there are lots of things you could call an "NGDP target" that people with a similar basic framework for thinking could converge on, I've never disagreed with that. If you want to point out that the Austrian school is not monolithic, I've never disagreed with that. But on the theoretical side you've got big gaps between the Rothbardians and Sumner and on the practical side you've got big gaps between Hayek and the Rothbardians and Sumner.
So that's Hayek. What about "Hayekians"? Well who's a "Hayekian". I first read Hayek almost ten years ago now and he's had a big impact on me, and I'm happy to volunteer that. I still see a big practical difference between Sumner and Hayek and if you're closer to Sumner on that practical difference I think that's a good thing.
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