My Firefox browser is littered with tabs, so it’s time to clean house…
* For those in the area, note that I will be back in Oregon later this week, in a multi-pronged educational effort with Richard Ebeling. Details here.
* In preparation for my debate with Krugman, I have been accumulating mainstream critiques of his worldview, the better to smell him with. Tyler Cowen and Scott Sumner have some good thoughts. I have also switched out of pizza and into low-fat cottage cheese. Mmmmm, cottage cheese.
* The econ profs at Hillsdale College have started a blog.
* Once you go Neo-Confederate, you never hear the end of it.
* David R. Henderson is doing some great work on austerity and the U.S. experience in World War II. I will definitely have to bone up on this material before the Krugman standoff. This is truly very important, because World War II is the one example that Krugman and the other Keynesians have pointed to, as an example of an economy allegedly taking off because of massive deficits. (They have also pointed to cases in the 1930s, but c’mon, is the U.S. in the years 1934-1936 really a “success story”?)
* Bryan Caplan has found a good discussion of paternalism and slippery slopes. He’s totally right. I am old enough to remember–back when they were banning cigarettes in restaurants–that right-wingers would say, “What next? Banning fatty foods? A Twinkie tax?” And I clearly remember that the response was, “Stop being absurd! Cigarettes can kill you. Get real, nobody is talking about banning Big Macs.”
* In this post, Krugman uses his FRED jujitsu to explain away surging commodity prices. He concludes, “There’s really nothing here to shake my view that deflation, not inflation, is the threat.”
Well two can play that game. Check out this FRED graph, showing year-over-year changes in the PPI versus the CPI. Look at how closely they follow each other over the decades. And now that the PPI is surging up, Krugman thinks the CPI is going to fall?
* Speaking of price inflation, Robert Wenzel explains that your toilet paper is shrinking. Wenzel–who for some reason likes to post pictures of pretty girls whenever possible on his blog–missed an obvious chance to link to a photo of Sheryl Crow.