Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Ferguson on Krugtron

Second, Krugman’s claim that a vastly larger fiscal stimulus would have generated a more rapid economic recovery in the US depends entirely on conjecture. But the macroeconomic model on which he bases his claim can hardly be called reliable, given its manifest failures to predict either the crisis or the euro’s survival. Moreover, at least one of his pre-crisis columns flatly contradicts his view today that current – or even higher – levels of federal debt carry no risk whatsoever. So he has no right to claim, as he has, “a stunning victory” in “an epic intellectual debate.”
Finally – and most important – even if Krugman had been “right about everything,” there would still be no justification for the numerous crude and often personal attacks he has made on those who disagree with him. Words like “cockroach,” “delusional,” “derp,” “dope,” “fool,” “knave,” “mendacious idiot,” and “zombie” have no place in civilized debate. I consider myself lucky that he has called me only a “poseur,” a “whiner,” “inane” – and, last week, a “troll.”
Far from engaging in Holmes’s free trade in ideas, Krugman has been the intellectual equivalent of a robber baron, exploiting his power to the point of driving decent people away from the public sphere – particularly younger scholars, who understandably dread a “takedown” by the “Invincible Krugtron.”
My preferred solution would be accountability. But I have given up hope that the New York Times will perform its proper editorial function.

Read more at http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/on-the-perils-of-paul-krugman-by-niall-ferguson#M5KvorzTwkUExQpY.99

Krugman does serve a very important function - he makes it easy for real economists to explain the difference in economics and Krugetronics and all of the distorted mis-representation of economics contained therein.

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