Sunday, January 20, 2013

It's amazing that so many of my libertarian friends are geeking out that one Nobel laureate cites a second Nobel laureate to respond to a point made by a third Nobel laureate....

...I'm seeing things like "Krugman is finally making sense" in response to this.

I think the blogosphere severely distorts the way people think politics enters economic science. This should really not be as surprising or notable to people as it apparently is.


  1. Krugman is much more moderate and open minded than he is reputed to be. It is the right wingers and the Libertarians who can't see beyond their dogmas.

  2. Krugman: "Some have asked if there aren’t conservative sites I read regularly. Well, no. I will read anything I’ve been informed about that’s either interesting or revealing; but I don’t know of any economics or politics sites on that side that regularly provide analysis or information I need to take seriously."

    Friedman: "You cannot be sure that you are right unless you understand the arguments against your views better than your opponents do."

    To call him open-minded is being charitable, imo. But at least his trade textbook contains pretty standard stuff.

    1. So name some conservative sites that are worth reading regularly.

      (and hey, I'm a charitable kind of guy ... it is a common character trait of us liberal, Enlightenment types)

    2. Absalon ... so I take it by your question that you yourself don't know of any? Doesn't that sort of prove John S' point?

      Note that it was a student of Krugman's (Bryan Caplan) that came up with the sort of Turing test that is in the background of all of this:

  3. I can't recommend any socially conservative blogs (since I don't espouse that view). But there are many worthwhile free market, libertarian blogs that Krugman (and the crookedtimber group) prob wouldn't be caught dead reading:

    Cato Institute:
    Market Monetarism:
    GMU Austrian:
    Auburn Austrian:
    Free Banking:

    Not quite "conservative" but excellent blogs on money and banking:
    David Glasner:
    JP Koning:

    I also have to recommend Jon Catalan's site:

    What are some good liberal blogs? I'm open to anything but crookedtimber (blechh!)

  4. I don't read a lot of sites on either side. I would consider Noahpinion to be liberal and very good but he might not self identify that way. Mark Thoma is good but stay away from his comments section - it's a swamp. Talkingpointsmemo is a good liberal news site (the flip side of Politico.) I like Brad deLong although I find the nastiness to be gratuitous and off-putting.

    I do read Marginal Revolution but I disagree with Tyler Cowen a lot (most of the time). On the right, I also read Grumpy Economist but my version of the shorter Cochrane is: "Greece is too regulated and spends too much; therefor, the United States must cut regulation and spending." The self indulgent nastiness and Cochrane's tendency to engage in leaps of logic gets in the way of his message.

    1. Plus Cochrane has a remarkably thin skin when it comes to approving comments.

    2. Cochrane and MR: I agree with you; these are my two least favorite among the list above. I really only included them so as not to make the entire list almost all Austrian!

      I guess Noah's alright, but the tone of the blog is a bit flippant for my taste (it's feels like a nerdcore battle rap--whut up now, yo!).

      DeLong: attitude is intolerable. And he actually deletes or edits comments that he doesn't like! This is truly shameful.

      Just compare DeLong's tone with Larry White's in these posts. Who seems more reasonable and respectful? No contest, imo.


      I'll read Mark Thoma for a few weeks and re-evaluate. Any other suggestions?

      What about Scott Sumner? Do you check in there also? NGDP targeting advocates loose money now, which I imagine is appealing to the left.

    3. No I do not read Scott Summer. NGDP has no appeal to me. I think the Fed is already "pushing on a string" with monetary policy.

      I also read Ezra Klein "Wonkblog". Some people consider him a liberal.

    4. I recommend:

      J.W. Mason at

      "Lord Keynes" at

      Lars P. Syll at

      Matias Vernango at

      Matias also regularly highlights work from other economists of a similar bent, such as Jamie Galbraith, Thomas Paley, and Sergio Cesaratto, who are worth reading.

      All of these blogs tilt more leftish than "liberal", and all are somewhat academic in their approach. Also, you've already found Daniel's blog.

    5. Whoops, I meant for Mason's site. D'oh!

  5. Libertarian friends?

    Daniel, before and during the Civil War, would you have had "southern" friends.

    Take a moment and read the review in the WSJ on Saturday of Bruce Levine's book, The Fall of the House of Dixie. The review is by an Edward Kosner. It seems to me you would also benefit from reading the book.

    A money quote: One must look at "the unique basis of the particular outlook, assumptions, norms, habits, and relationships to which . . . a social class has become deeply and reflexively attached. It defined their privileges and shaped their culture, their religion and even their personalities."

    Look at conservatives and libertarians, today. Their greed and narcissiim defines their culture, their religion (instead of vice versa (all the A. Rand Catholics come to mind))and even their personalities."

    When you indicate you have read and come to comprehend at least the review, maybe I will come back

  6. BTW, the reason why Stiglitz is correct is based on location economics, which Krugman wholly fails to consider.

    The answer can be found by asking, Where does one find a rich barber?

    Did no one learn anything by observing where Pretty Boy Edwards had to go to get his $400 hair cuts? Answer, if you want to be a rich barber, you locate your barber shop in a rich neighborhood.

    The concentration of wealth works adversely through location economics. As the rich get richer, fewer and fewer customers are accessible to the average firm.

    Second, concentration also makes the acquisition of information more expensive, if not impossible. I live in the Mid-West. It is beyond description how much more difficult it is here to acquire basic information about potential investors, competitors, etc. etc., than even 10 or 15 years ago. Learning opportunities about this problem are everywhere, if one knows how to observe.

    Just look at the tombstone announcement when Goldman Sachs handled the 1950s IPO of Ford. Every firm but Goldman Sachs is gone and that includes well over 100 regional investment banks.

    If you are on the bottom, looking up, the business scene, today, is radically different than it was 30 years ago, before Wall Street really gained control of the Federal Government with the RR revolution. You forget but the first thing Wall Street did was eliminate all the competition from tax shelters and thousands of regional banks and savings and loans.

    1. I was DELIBERATELY not indicating I read or came to comprehend the review so you wouldn't come back! What gives!

      Actually, the funny thing is I was looking at that book in the bookstore today. Unfortunately, I don't think I'll have time for much additional reading this semester.

    2. Daniel,

      You ought to stop and consider how is it that I would know what book you are looking at in a bookstore. It would seem to me that you would want to know, how could someone know that about me? This is not the first time.

      Some of us observe, have some altitude, perspective, and judgment.

      It would seem to me that rather than wanting me to leave you would want mean to stay and try to learn something.

      Anyone with the ability to observe, who could read your blog with any insight, would know you would pick up the book because, slowly, it is starting to dawn on you that you mental models of history, the flow of Modernity, the fact that your wife's job and the grants to the Urban Inst., etc., are on the line, means that you are growing up and having to face the fact that there are people out there in the World looking to hurt you badly. (You may not look for war, but sometimes war looks for you)

      I keep coming back because you keep slipping and falling. That, and unlike Noah who so well expresses how little we know about economics, you keep pounding the key board as if we know stuff. Finally, you are so badly informed about human nature, people, politics, and history that someone has to keep reminding you, it appears.

      If you would drop the libertarian crap ...

      In sum, don't take my word.

      From Salon, Ayn Rand is for Children

      Since I first met Objectivists (read: libertarians) in college, my Unified Theory of Rand Groupies posited that they all probably fit into at least one of three groups: those who 1) never grew out of the usual “the world is persecuting me and doesn’t see my true genius” phase that momentarily afflicts the typical high schooler 2) think saying “Ayn Rand” in any context makes them sound intelligent, even though they’ve never actually read her work or 3) have read Rand’s work, don’t genuinely believe in her ideology as evidenced by their lifestyle/politics, but still say they love her because it serves to make them feel good about their own avarice.

      I know this will hurt, but your views on libertarians is child like, just as this Salon piece explains.

    3. “Daniel, you ought to stop and consider how is it that I would know what book you are looking at in a bookstore.”

      My guess is that it probably involves binoculars.jk

    4. "You ought to stop and consider how is it that I would know what book you are looking at in a bookstore."

      Creepy, creepy, creepy ...

    5. Hilarious---I am more than a 1000 miles away

      Deduction seems to be a method of thinking here

    6. Didn't Krugman win his Nobel based on location economics aka "New Geography"?

    7. And I would add that even many of his ideological detractors believe he deserved the prize for that work.

    8. "Hilarious---I am more than a 1000 miles away"

      And you think that somehow makes it less creepy?

  7. "It would seem to me that you would want to know, how could someone know that about me? This is not the first time."



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