No doubt inspired by my trademarked “Krugman Kontradiction,” my favorite blogger has a response to Landsburg entitled “Karicature Keynesianism.” It is quite clever; let me show you why. Krugman writes:
[L]et me note that Landsburg’s latest unfortunate intervention follows a well-trodden path: that of starting from the proposition that Keynesians are themselves really, really stupid — a proposition argued not by pointing to anything actual Keynesians say, but instead by presenting a caricature that supposedly is what Keynesians believe. Call it Karicature Keynesianism.
Anyone who’s followed the various attacks on yours truly knows what I mean: Keynesians believe that budget deficits never matter, that increasing demand can solve all economic problems, that there’s no such thing as a supply side to the economy, that more spending is always good. You can see it even in the comments to Kuehn’s post, with people expressing doubt about whether there’s crowding out in my textbook. Let me suggest a very difficult research project: how about actually looking at the book?
By the way, the man who really brought Keynesianism into the classroom — who was responsible for what we now call the “Keynesian cross” — was Paul Samuelson. And while arguing from the qualities of individuals isn’t the main way you should assess anything, still: maybe you think I’m stupid (a remarkable number of people apparently do believe that), but do you really imagine that Paul Samuelson was an idiot promoting a moronic set of ideas?
Do you see how neat this is? Krugman decided to illustrate his complaint by doing to Landsburg exactly what Krugman claims Landsburg did to Krugman. Specifically: Landsburg never claimed any of the following in his post:
(a) Krugman has no discussion of crowding out in his textbook.
(b) Krugman is stupid.
(c) Keynesianism is stupid.
(d) Samuelson is an idiot.
(e) Samuelson promoted a moronic set of ideas.
Instead, Landsburg claimed that the textbook, Econ 101 use of the Keynesian Cross to deduce a multiplier for government spending, is based on a fallacy.
In order to refute that, Krugman should point out in Samuelson and/or Krugman/Wells the passage in this discussion showing that he evades Landsburg’s fallacy.
Since Krugman resorts to pouting and invents attacks on himself that Landsburg never launched, Steve should be flattered at the admission that he hit pay dirt.
(At the office tomorrow I’ll look through Samuelson and Krugman/Wells to see what we shall see. I have to do the work Krugman refuses to do.)