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« My Senior Seminar on the Great Depression | Main | Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose »


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Really, how shocking that Brad DeLong would do this. He is terrified of disagreement. Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, has also been subject to such hysterical criticism by Paul Krugman because her stimulus plan is quite small. I blogged about the latter a couple of weeks ago.

Congratulations!! That is simply magnificent. Duncan Reekie always used to say that a response like that that was a sign you'd done something right.


Seriously for a minute. Isn't this just proof of the proposition that Keynesianism has dominated public policy economist for more than 60 years. Republican administrations just paid lip service to a fiscal conservative Keynesianism, while Democratic administrations pursued liberal Keynesianism. But all poliical economic discussions have been fundamentally Keynesian.

This is true for the Washington consensus as well as what guided Volker and Greenspan.

So what has finally led to a day of reckoning is Keynesian public policy. This is why I think the Wagner and Buchanan book, Democracy in Deficit, might be the most important book for reprinting that there is out there.


What's an adequate stimulus plan for the likes of Paul Krugman? 1 trillion? Maybe 20 trillion?

I just was wondering if anyone knew of concrete numbers.

If my memory serves me correctly, I think Krugman attributes the Great Depression to the fact that stimulus plan was too small then too.

At this point in the "debate" S. Horwitz should go Freudian on DeLong's a** and just point out that Austrians don't endorse giant stimulus packages because they're satisfied with their own packages and don't need to prove anything by endorsing large economic stimulus packages as a means to compensate.


I think you're right. Challenging the Keynesian consensus appears to drum someone out of the community of economists. I think it's also an example of a JS Mill point: when doctrines insulate themselves from serious engagement with competing doctrines, they get soft and flabby and their adherents forget why they support them and become unable to defend them against serious challenges.

The Keynesian consensus hasn't allowed itself to "work out" against real alternative and now, in its old-age flabbiness, it can only throw rocks at challengers.

I think you're on to something Lee.

It does appear that some Democrats think Obama's package isn't large enough to really stimulate anything, while some of us are saying that the size of the package is irrelevant, and that a larger package will involve less stimulus and more pain. Put differently, we think the economy would be better off with self-stimulation.

All I know is that figuring out all this hi-tech economics jargon is really, really.... hard.

De Long has a pretty history of deleting comments that disagree with him from his blog, especially those that point out factual errors. He also has a habit of arguing by intellectual intimidation, at least on his blog. I really hope he doesn't conduct himself that way in his classes. And I really hope he isn't representative of the level of intellectual discourse and honesty in his department.

DeLong calling you a Republican Hack has a simple psychological explanation:


DeLong is a hard-core Democrat, is extremely political and is very prone to bending integrity to suit a partisan agenda.

Thus why he instantly assumes you MUST be a Republican. (What else could you BE after all? Don't you know there's only twp simple sides to this debate, Steve?? Whatever, Brad.)

And, if you read Delong's...and I know you have when he has blogged about Hayek...he loves misrepresenting viewpoints that don't conform to his. I've seen him butcher Hayek and Mises, among others, while claiming to know a thing or two about them. He also assumes malicious intent in those who disagree with him.

Thus why he assumes you MUST be a hack.

Projection explains so much.

It's not like you are reading between the lines here and leaving the possibility open that you are projecting as well. No. DeLong outright insulted you in an incredibly overt, vicious and smug way.


For what it's worth, Liberty Fund has Democracy in Deficit available now as part of the complete works of Buchanan. I only know because most of the set hit my local used book store and I've been considering completing the set while they're still available.

Here's the link to Democracy in Deficit from Liberty Fund. $12 PB, $20 cloth.

BRAD DELONG DELETED MY COMMENT!!! I said ad hominem attacks were unprofessional and that calling critics "ethics-free" is terrible.

I am stunned and a little hurt, actually.

What is going on???

wow. I remember your comment, Dr. Rizzo. I responded to it. But he left mine. So now it looks like I'm addressing someone who isn't even there.

I can't believe he did that.

Deleting a critical comment (and a justified comment) from a fellow economist is simply low.

How smug.

As I noted earlier, he has a long history of doing that. If you had pointed out a factual error, he probably would have not only deleted the comment but shut down comments on the post, based on what he has done in the past.

That wouldn't be the first time. I witnessed the same thing happen once in near real-time when DeLong decided to 'trim' the comments and deleted all the intelligent dissenters and kept the idiots. One of the dissenters was Bob Murphy...who wrote it up here:

Steve Horwitz,
Wow, I was reading 'Entrepeneurship, Exogenous
Change, and the Flexibility of
Capital' and had to get up to check on the baby. I came back to your above comments. I'm impressed by your versatility.


here's perfect example of DeLong, "The Hayek Expert", making a 100% factually incorrect assertion and closing the comments once someone called him on it.

The difference in this case is that he left the comment in tact.

What did DeLong say?


"This Hayekian argument was, of course, dead wrong. Its problem was that it mistook value for being a fact of nature rather than a social relationship among people. The value of something is what people are willing to pay for it."

Yes. That is correct, Brad. Only that exactly what Hayek would say. He just doesn't get it. And he claims to know Hayek quite well.

Really the last post this time(!).I would offer to pay for all you people's travel/staying costs to/in Washington but I'm just in the process of buying a house here.I would sincerely promise to donate $10000 in the next 2 months.You gentlemen still haven't realised what a powerful position you are in.You don't have to debate your way to influence (in my opinion the vested interests and the apparent fact that economics are an art mean you can't,ever).Really the status quo is purely a matter of belief.There are (57?) doubting legislators in the congress.It's NOT POSSIBLE for a layman to defend his beliefs against a powerful accepted view.What the situation needs is for trained eonomists (Autrians) to go there,talk to them,and 'give them permisson' to express their personal opinions backed by your credentials.You have victory right in your hands.It doesn't require years of hard work.It requires a 'plane ticket,a hotel room reservation and appointments to meet those you need to talk to.This set of circumstances would have been easier before the first bail out had been passed.BUT as you are now maybe beginning to feel,things will become ever hotter for dissenters from the orthodox view.I don't think before Ron Paul and Peter Schiff's admission in his WSJ Editorial that t/he/y we're Austrians that 1% of Americans knew you existed.After the press coverage of a meeting with legislators,I'm sure there would be a greater recognition that differing views exist.I come back to the point that we are talking about religion here.When that veneer of totemic untouchability is removed from Bernanke by press coverage of diagreement,the man in the street will choose the religion that fits with his common sense and the tenets that all Americans grow up with.And wonder of wonders - that's yours.Ron Paul has a Congressional website.He must be contactable through that or the Mises site.(By the way I'm English but I want America to become freer.)

This is The State. Pete, post your Goya Picture again. The State and its lackeys eats economists -- or, esp. economists, historians, philosophers -- too.

Congrats on being dissed by DeLong, who remains a real class act, and third rate "economist."
Both Krugman and DeLong have been criticized by free market advocates for being dishonest, etc. They might be dishonest, but I think a better explanation is that they are not good economists, at least not on macroeconomics and the business cycle.
Neither one seems to understand the role of too cheap credit in causing the bubble(s) that inflated in recent years, and that the deflating of the bubbles was simply a reversal of what happened earlier.
DeLong's comment about the Mises Institute not being able to compete in the market because it's a nonprofit organization is wrong and hypocritical.
It does have tax advantages, but none that wouldn't exist in a truly free market. The solution is to extend the tax treatment of non-profits to corporations and other business firms.
And speaking of competition, in the free market firms don't get subsidized by the government, unlike the U. of California at Berkley.

Congrats on everything, Steve, including Air America. That should indeed be interesting. You know, the left liberals have found themselves returning to old liberal ideas in the last eight years. You never know, the interview might go in unexpected directions.

You know as well on anyone what unites the two liberalisms: 1) fear of power and 2) universal beneficence. The really big difference is in how the two liberalisms understand the sources and dynamics of power.

More exposure of DeLong's nature here:

Dear Steve, Congratulations! De long must be pretty pissed of by now.

Prof Rizzo,
Can you please post the deleted comment on this page. So that we can read it and enjoy.

スティーブさん、 おめでとう ございます!

Steve, in DeLong's world, you don't have the professional standing to deny that you are an "ethics free Republican hack".

Maybe if you were tenured at Harvard you'd have a right to identify yourself differently.

Pete wrote:

===Seriously for a minute. Isn't this just proof of the proposition that Keynesianism has dominated public policy economist for more than 60 years.===

It reminds me of that old joke. Ask a public policy economist about Steve Horwitz, and he'd say, "Eh, he isn't very good, but I here he's a funny blogger."


LOL apparently DeLong was bluffing in his command of foreign tongues, too. Someone in the comments said: "Ummm...hitotsu means 'one item'." I did some quick googling and it seems that this is correct.

If I were DeLong I would have deleted that comment before Mario's.

Aside from the intellectual intolerance/cowardice involved in deleting comments, the whole basis of DeLong's post seems off. DeLong's argument is that since no one on the Council of Economic Advisors is on the house caucus list, this shows that the position is somehow fringy. But the list (which is available here) is just a collection of quotes by various economists critical of the stimulus plan. And while the list doesn't provide quotes from any Council of Economic Advisors alums, there's no reason why the list couldn't have done so. Mankiw, for example, has been critical of the stimulus package. So unless DeLong's point is simply that the House Caucus did a bad job of compiling criticisms of the stimulus (which it clearly isn't) I don't see what his point is.

Things I never thought I would be called in my life: "Republican"

Being called "ethics free" I assumed would come with the profession. I must admit, the name calling actually hurts a little bit when it comes from another economist.

Thanks to Steve for putting up these great papers!

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