To illustrate the situation, permit me a silly analogy. Imagine you saw the following debate among economists:
KRUGMAN: People are always yelping about the dangers of guns, but so long as people wear bulletproof vests, they can’t possible be hurt by gunfire.
ROWE and MURPHY: What the heck is he talking about?! Imagine a guy wearing a bulletproof vest, and someone else walks up and shoots him in the head. Uh, try again Krugman.
LANDSBURG and CALLAHAN: Well Krugman is right, if you think about it. A gunshot to the head doesn’t necessarily harm someone; we can imagine a guy with a scorpion on his head, and the bullet just nicks him while taking out the scorpion. Furthermore, we can achieve the same result of killing a man with head trauma by, say, smacking his temple with a hammer. So Rowe and Murphy are wrong to think that gunfire per se causes death from head injury.
KRUGMAN: Like I’ve been saying for years, nobody understands guns. Let me say it slowly, everyone: If you’re wearing a bulletproof vest, a bullet can’t hurt you.
LANDSBURG and CALLAHAN. Beautiful, Paul. Preach it brother.
Again, I realize the above is a bit silly, but then again I can’t believe Krugman is still getting away with titling posts, “We Owe It to Ourselves.”