With good contributing insights by Bob Murphy, Paul Krugman, Nick Rowe, Dean Baker (and Gene, Landsburg, me, and other minor notables).
Ryan Murphy makes a few claims I'd disagree with (I think he is too quick to confuse a strawman Lerner with Lerner... I think Nick's original #1 adds claims to the Lerner argument that people that say that stuff never make). But Ryan is justifiably frustrated that we are attributing extreme positions of single arguments to people rather than recognizing that all of these points are fundamentally right, but differentially binding depending on the situation (and that that ultimately makes it an empirical question). I agree. I feel like Nick and Bob have taken a Lerner-Samuelson point from Krugman and Baker and imagined it is some attempt on their part to disprove... something... Buchanan I guess? Or Samuelson? Economics gets really bad when it turns partisan like that. It's a science. Usually everybody has a point and the question is what model (or mix of models) is most useful in a particular situation or to answer a particular question. I don't know if Ryan would agree with this interpretation of him, but that's what I got out of him.
Grant has this conclusion, with which I also agree: "The way I see it, this keeps returning to one unavoidable conclusion: The "bad" outcomes of Bob's model can all be traced back to the fact that the interest rate exceeds GDP growth. Everything else is paper fodder."
It's bad enough that Bob and Nick have turned a Lerner-Samuelsonian reminder to a Buchananish electorate into a much bigger claim than it ever was. That fight is interesting, if a little misleading in my view. But we really should be careful not to lose the fundamental Samuelsonian point in all this, because a lot of the public still doesn't get that.
That's why Krugman and Baker were emphasizing what they were emphasizing.
You Know You're a Free Thinker!
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