Thursday, October 08, 2009

When economists collide...

Whoa! Can it get nasty!
But I have learned something from this exchange — Tyler discounts arguments couched in emotional, or emotional-seeming, terms. That’s a shame. Sometimes people see and write most clearly when they allow themelves to be angry. It’s then that they feel no obligation to water down their argument with unnecessary caveats or efforts to protect interpersonal relationships. Maybe Tyler never has these inclinations, but I believe that most people do. [More]

But bipartisan support does not mean universal support. As it happens there are detractors on both sides of the proverbial aisle. The New York Times' Catherine Rampell quotes Howard Gleckman, of the left-leaning think tank the Urban Institute, arguing against the proposal. And Greg Mankiw is walking back his support of the plan (somewhat predictably; Mr Mankiw's modus operandi has lately been to support various government interventions up until they stand a chance of actually becoming policy).[More]


2. Ryan's summary of the argument involves several strawmen.  Various polemic phrases are used throughout his post, including "makes no sense" and "nuts."  When you read language like that, it often indicates the writer has not worked hard enough to imagine a sensible version of the idea he is criticizing. [More]

These are the voices, I believe of people who are facing some extraordinary challenges to their fundamental beliefs. It came to a head when Paul Krugman wrote about why macroeconomists got this recession so wrong. After defensive immediate reactions, many of the community began to challenge neoclassical (Chicago) dogma and the rhetoric began to fly.

(The blogosphere is the perfect venue.)

Bam! Pow!

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