For casual readers, I should probably clarify: Unlike certain Keynesian economists, I actually spend most of my time online reading the blogs of people with whom I disagree. For example, I probably would agree with just about everything posted at The Circle Bastiat, but that’s why you won’t see me commenting much on it. Rather, I like to have my views challenged, and I also like to go on the offensive when I spot mistakes and inconsistencies in my intellectual opponents.
Two of the people I read the most religiously are Paul Krugman and Scott Sumner, because (a) they are really sharp and have a well-developed worldview and (b) I think they are the leaders of the two schools of thought (Keynesianism and Market Monetarism) that pose the greatest threat to Austro-libertarianism. Since I have a good memory and spend so much time reading these two guys, I believe it is my duty to write it up whenever I spot problems; if not me, who?
Last preamble: I pick on Scott a lot, but it’s possible you could find similar flaws with anybody if you read him long enough. For example, Gene Callahan has pointed out that libertarian economists often warn that a tax on corporations will be “shifted” to other parties (such as the consumers or workers), but when it comes to figuring out the effective tax rate paid by “the rich,” the same libertarian economists will often use the statutory incidence of a corporate tax as if it’s coming right off the bottom line. So, I was glad when Gene pointed that out, because at the very least I want to be consistent in how I handle those two issues.
Now on to Scott:
==> On May 5, 2012 he wrote a post titled, “Our profession is wrong about what went wrong, and hence doesn’t know how to fix the problem.”
==> Then on August 29, 2013 he wrote a post titled that “Yes, the economics profession really does believe that low rates mean easy money.”
So it looks like the profession as a whole doesn’t really understand the wonders of Market Monetarism, right? But hang on:
==> Today Scott says that a letter signed by 300 economists supporting Janet Yellen is evidence that she is the better pick for Fed chair than Larry Summers.
And if the above isn’t enough, how about a cheap shot? Today Scott also explained that there are only two words’ difference between himself and Paul Krugman…