One of the big examples that makes me skeptical of statements like Friedman's that Henderson quotes is the case of Paul Krugman.
Friedman wrote of New Yorker intellectuals: "There was an unbelievable degree of intellectual homogeneity, of acceptance of a standard set of views complete with cliche answers to every objection, of smug self-satisfaction at belonging to an in-group."
You hear the same sort of attacks on Paul Krugman, which are complete hogwash from everything I've seen out of Krugman. This recent post from Krugman highlights a lot of what I think is so right about the guy, and why some people so badly misdiagnose his popularity. It doesn't feel like hogwash to the people making the attacks. These people are very sincere and actually think they're doing good by raising this stuff. And they're reasonable people in their own right (at least many of them are). I like a lot of them. They're just coming from a completely different perspective.
What drives the point home for me is that Krugman makes the exact same sort of attacks on others. And I usually think he's wrong there too (not always wrong on the substance of whatever question he's discussing - I often agree with him on that - but often wrong on his attacks on the due diligence or honesty of the people he's arguing against).
Anyway - the point is a lot of this is your own perspective, bad inferences, theater, emotions, etc. Very little content to it in most cases, I'm forced to conclude.
And the ironic thing is that a lot of you will be completely unmoved by this post because you're SURE that you are just as right about Krugman as Friedman was about New York intellectuals and when that thing gets said about someone on your side or your side in the aggregate it's just wrong.
For the Weekend...
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