Sunday, August 12, 2012

They don't agree with me... can't be that I'm wrong... it must be political!!!

Scott Sumner: "Not much time today, but a few responses to comments.  After all the quotes I provided there are still some commenters who seem to think I was unfair to DeLong in simply pointing out that he had claimed that because the Fed was out of ammo we needed to use fiscal stimulus.  All I can say is “this is your brain on politics.”"

OK, I know he's talking about a bunch of people but I can't help taking this a little personally since I'm sure Scott saw Brad DeLong's link to and pretty much full reproduction of my post.

When they insult you, just accusing you of playing politics it means they have no other defense. The case laid out was pretty plain.

I can't speak for everyone, but this has nothing whatsoever to do with politics for me. I'm not even exactly sure how that makes sense in this particular case.

What a condescending response. I went through point by point. I deserve better than that and from what I've seen from other people who take issue with this line of argument from Scott, they deserve better than that too. Because everybody that's been agreeing with me on this post and on previous posts along these lines has had very legitimate concerns.

This blog doesn't run on politics or ideology.

UPDATE: Yes, Scott has critics in his comment section too. If someone alleges you are wrong it still seems like a condescending non-answer. If you don't have the energy to write another post on it, then that's fine. Just don't write another post on it - refrain from insulting them.


  1. I agree that Scott Sumner shouldn't alienate people who have compatible theoretical frameworks with similar policy implications. Another thing I wonder about him would be, "Why does he keep attacking mainstream Keynesians and seem to be more receptive to Austrians, but then ignores the Post Keynesians and Modern Monetary Theorists?"

    I linked him to a post by the journalist Philip Pilkington that criticised Market Monetarism, and Scott Sumner refused to respond to that post.

    I think he was more focused on his commentators than on you though, Daniel, judging from the link on Scott Sumner's post.

  2. Wait, people are really asking why Scott Sumner is more receptive to "Austrians?" It might be the fact that the "Austrian's" free banking school has so much more in common (theoretically, and quite a few self-proclaimed market monetarists are free bankers, and they used to/still study Austrian economic theories) with the market monetarists than the Keynesian economists.

    P.s. As an avid reader Mr. Kuehn I must take notice of the claim that this blog does not run on politics (I'll exclude the ideology part of the claim). The following has less to do with this specific exchange regarding Delong, but rather I'm speaking generally. When commenting on macroeconomic policy you are entering a political debate. You believe there is a proper way to implement economic policies which is done by political agents/agencies.

    Over the past few years of reading economic works it has become clear to me: The political ramifications of coherent Federal economic policies could potentially be much greater than any of the economic ramifications, i.e. imagine the change if the Federal Reserve adopted NGDPLT, or if they vastly reformed agricultural policy towards market direction, or if free trade in both goods AND labor was both allowed and encouraged. Such policies would have global effects on nation-state and international political relations. I believe much more focus needs to be placed on the potential political reforms that will be required in order to facilitate real, evolutionary change in political entities' economic policy.

    Note: I am merely an amateur, so please don't go too hard on me ;)

  3. I think you and DeLong are both thin-skinned. Scott had several people comment on his on blog agreeing with the DeLong side, so I don't know why you would assume condescension toward you specifically, when Scott usually responds to his own commenters.

    As for the points in your original post, I didn't understand how you could oppose (1) but support both (2) and (4), when (1) is just a combination of (2) and (4).

    I'm actually thinking that the Keynesians and Monetarists are quite a bit further apart than it seems.

    The statement that, well, I supported monetary stimulus back in 2009 but I thought it had credibility problems and wouldn't work isn't exactly a full-throated endorsement of monetary stimulus. Not even close.

    A lot of us think fiscal stimulus has exactly the same credibility problems; you run yourself into bankruptcy with hastily thought out spending programs, unless you commit to monetary expansion first. Yes, I am aware of the standard retort that interest rates are low so we can borrow more. But the low rates are caused by two things: 1) Obama wants to increase taxes and be the most fiscally responsible (i.e., anti-stimulus) of the presidential candidates AND 2) open-ended QE is unlikely, because most people still believe QE has "costs and risks."

  4. I think Scott has a lot of time to write but very little time to read, and he only reads enough to have something to say regardless of whether what he has to say has any validity. This is probably just a personal preference.

  5. If you don't like condescension and insults, then I can only assume you really hate Brad DeLong's blog.

  6. Headslap!

    ideology 1.Doctrine, philosophy, body of beliefs or principles belonging to an individual or group.

    You are an individual.
    You have a body of beliefs.
    Your blog is not only run on ideology, it is a record of your ideology for the world to see.

    That is not good or bad. It is. You have a world view that is tainted by emotion. If your belief set is not tainted by emotion, you are one of a group of three: Spock, Data, and you.

    Embrace your biases! I'm biased! Say it with me! I! Have! Biases!


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