14 Jan 2009

Potpourri: 1/3 Information, 2/3 Narcissism

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* Blackadder recommended this Russ Roberts podcast with card-carrying Keynesian Steve Fazzari. I highly recommend it as well. Fazzari is so confident that he tripped up Roberts at one point (and I confess, I was momentarily befuddled as well). Roberts didn’t go in for the kill, either because he didn’t want to make the guy uncomfortable or because it’s a lot easier to look 3 moves ahead in the comfort of my kitchen while I’m listening to the show. In some forum I will pick Fazzari’s arguments apart, but here’s a hint: He is inconsistent in what he holds constant in his discussion of an increase in saving (by the family who had been dining out) and an increase in borrowing (by the stimulating government). That’s the whole trick. If he had been consistent, then either (a) the government stimulus wouldn’t increase total income either, or (b) the family’s decision to save wouldn’t decrease total income.

* The Atlanta-Journal Constitution ran my op ed on the problems with stimulus. (“You mean the #22 ranked AJC?” Yeah, that one.) I am quite frankly (pleasantly) shocked at how little they changed it. Really, look at how “abstract” they left it. I think this financial crisis is so bad that people are willing to really think hard about economics.

* Now we know why John Stossel is so well-informed.

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