10 Dec 2009

I Just Emailed With Something Worse Than Banana Fungus…

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…or so Paul Krugman would have you believe. On an unrelated business matter, I have been corresponding with someone (who wishes to remain anonymous) who told me the following in an email today:

Last night, my friend and I attempted to persuade Paul Krugman to debate the Austrians at his presentation on “Are We Getting the Change We Need?” at Baruch College. My friend politely asked Dr. Krugman to comment on Dr. Paul’s audit the Fed legislation, which he responded to derisively with, “Ron Paul wants to return to the gold standard” and “the Fed’s monetary policies are already audited.” My friend tried to emphasize foreign governments and foreign central banks but was interrupted by the moderator.

I later commented that the collapse is due to the failure of Keynesian economics, not free market capitalism, which was predicted by the Austrian school and asked if he would be willing to engage in an academic debate with Austrian economists. He dismissed the Austrian school as passe and incapable of explaining unemployment and preventing the Great Depression. I again asked politely if he would debate one of you since the Austrians correctly predicted the housing bubble, subsequent collapse and is growing in popularity. His answer was basically, “it sounds like intellectual snootiness…and it is…I have better things to do with my resources.” And so he spent his resources writing this on today’s NYT blog.

If it affects your verdict, my correspondent is a female but not a student. (I didn’t ask her her age, as my momma raised me better than that.) But her “friend” mentioned above (not sure if guy or girl) just graduated, so he or she must be pretty young.

I don’t know about you, but when Krugman said the people asking him about Austrian economists were less desirable than banana fungus, I was picturing redneck guys in their 40s wearing camo jackets, passing around Skoal and Glenn Beck’s latest book, and discussing their next deer hunt. It changes things a lot that at least one of his alleged hecklers was a recent graduate, and I tend to believe my correspondent when she says they were polite to Krugman.

(It’s possible the rednecks shouted things afterward, of course.)

One Response to “I Just Emailed With Something Worse Than Banana Fungus…”

  1. SirThinkALot says:

    I wonder if Krugman is even aware that the bulk of people involved in the recent resurgence of interest in Austiran economics are college students/recent graduates?