25 Oct 2010

Krugman Challenge Update

Shameless Self-Promotion 28 Comments

It really is too bad that my 15 minutes occurs when I’m way behind in my work schedule. But to keep all of you up to speed:

* Zerohedge picked up the story over the weekend.

* Robert Wenzel just tipped me off that John Carney at CNBC ran this article. I now have my favorite news line ever: “Krugman did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment on the challenge.”

* The pledge total is now just shy of $29,000. If you haven’t contributed yet, I encourage you to do so. This is your Woodstock, but with bathrooms.

* A clarification to the press treatment: Strictly speaking, this isn’t a “$100,000 debate challenge” to Krugman. It’s whatever amount of money gets pledged. My idea is that the donations just keep piling in over the months, until he has no choice to debate me. That number may be $250,000; who knows.

* Last thing: Yes I looked up “wunderkind” to make sure it was a compliment. I thought maybe it meant I was both right- and left-handed.

28 Responses to “Krugman Challenge Update”

  1. RG says:

    If you’re both right and left handed, then your amphibious.

  2. Sean says:

    Mr. Murphy,

    Reading Hoppe’s Mises Daily article “The Yield from Money Held Reconsidered” (http://mises.org/daily/3449) it occurs to me that, should a debate with the inflationist Mr. Krugman actually occur, it would be good to have an analysis of the pure theory of money, such as Hoppe’s, at the ready.

    I say this, because I recently watched your debate on YouTube with the central bank representative (sorry, can’t find the link) and he posited an argument regarding the “price deflation” of the late 19th century, and how a contracting money supply and price deflation is concomitant with a contracting economy—which, according to Hoppe, and according to a correct understanding of monetary theory, is fallacious since it is money’s PURCHASING POWER, not nominal value, which is central.

    Just thought I would mention this, since any debate with an inflationist, surely, will turn to this matter at one point or another.

    Obviously, you know of all of this, LDO. Just thought I would mention it.

    Sean K.

  3. Guillermo Barba says:
  4. Ombibulous says:

    Now over $30,000. And a Google search of “krugman murphy debate” yields:

    About 973,000 results (0.11 seconds)

  5. Lee Kelly says:

    If this debate actually happens at the Mises Institute, then I’ll see you there. That is supposing it would be possible for me to attend. I wouldn’t want to miss this debate!

  6. Stephen Adkins says:

    Your last crack actually made me lol.

    And, it’s sad that we’ve reached a state of affairs in which I have to write that entire sentence to clarify what should’ve been an abbreviation.

    On a side note, that does remind me of an interview with Michael Vick from about 5 years ago. He was asked about being a left-handed quarterback and he remarked that, actually, he was quite good with both his left and his right hand – “you could say I’m ‘even-handed.'”

  7. Yogi says:

    Dude, please do brush up on 1939-40.

    There was a pretty sharp increase in Government spending and a decrease in unemployment BEFORE America went to war. He will throw that at you if you make the point that Government spending did crowd out private spending from 1941-45 (as pointed out by Robert Barro)

    Also, weren’t you saying that you’d write a Mises article or three on the Japanese lost decade….. or was it somebody else ?

  8. J Cortez says:

    I think the weak point in the Austrian story is busts before central banks. Obviously, anyone that’s studied this knows the ABCT doesn’t require a central bank– but I notice a few opponents use this line of attack even though it’s wrong.

    I hope this debate happens, but I’m not expecting much. Krugman doesn’t even want to respond to good arguments on his own weblog.

  9. Lee Kelly says:

    My problem with ABCT is that from 2000-08, NGDP growth was consistent with prevailing trends. This is not a criticism of the logic of ABCT, but rather its application to this particular episode. If the boom really was fueled by inflation, then I would have expected to see greater than normal NGDP growth. Of course, there was a housing bubble, but I am inclined to say it had little to do with expansionary monetary policy. It was not until after the bust did the monetary authorities blunder by allowing expected future total nominal income to fall dramatically.

  10. Jacques Fournier says:

    A caller on http://www.schiffradio.com today (10/25/2010) brought up your debate with Krugman. Schiff responded. You can check the archives if you haven’t already.

  11. Mike Sandifer says:

    I’d like to see you debate Krugman, but he might have better things to do than put his economics against your religion.

  12. Mike Sandifer says:

    Lee Kelly, that looks like a good point, but Austrians often aren’t interested in evidence. Just take praxeology, for example.

    They don’t even understand that their “models” aren’t even internally consistent in many cases. Take their rejection of cardinal utility, yet use of continuous demand curves, for example. Or, you can take their claim that Say’s Law holds for monetary economies, even though if it did, inflation would never be a problem. Wages and prices would adjust downward sufficiently quickly to avoid problems.

    There are many more problems with their archaic perspectives, but you get the idea.

    I don’t know if Bob subscribes to any of the above.

    • bobmurphy says:

      I was going to ask Krugman how many bureaucrats could dance on the head of a pin.

      • Mike Sandifer says:

        Well Bob, I think you and Krugman in a powerpoint duel could be a very good thing, but I’m not sure how open of a mind people on either side would have. It may not move many. This is a very important discussion to have though.

    • Lee Kelly says:

      Mike Sandifer,

      I like Austrian economics, its business cycle theory, the MIses Institute, and even Bob Murphy. Although I believe many Austrians err on matters of monetary theory, I do not believe such errors are inextricably Austrian. In any case, the suggestion that Austrian methodology has no role for evidence is a mere straw man; evidence is merely less central to economics than other sciences. Mises’s arguments in this regard are rather good, though perhaps have been made better elsewhere.

  13. Brian Shelley says:

    I expect to see a training montage video soon. You could put your own “Eye of the Tiger” karaoke vocals in the background, while you’re curling Bahm-Bawerk, bench pressing Human Action, running down the waterfront with “PIG to the Great Depression” in one hand and Rothbard in the other. That would be sweet.

    • bobmurphy says:

      Brian we are way ahead of you. I just don’t want you to think I’m “stealing” your idea…

  14. RG says:

    The winged monkeys have descended on the blog.

  15. RG says:

    @ Shelly: I’m partial to the podium on the shoulders trudging through snow drifts.

  16. Brian Shelley says:

    Kick Ass!

    I live under the assumption that “Free” Advice is a two way street on this blog.

  17. dmitchell says:

    Bob, what if you lose? I’m pretty sure you have the better arguments, but debating someone is different than writing a considered rebuttal to a blog post or op-ed. Krugman is incredibly smart and probably very quick on his feet. I wouldn’t want to debate him even if I was certain that I was right and he was wrong: he would probably still win the debate, being so much smarter than I am. Aren’t you worried about that?

    • bobmurphy says:

      Well I guess that’s why I made the video and you didn’t.

    • bobmurphy says:

      Less flippantly: Sure I might lose, if I just walked in there and didn’t prepare. If he agrees to debate me I will take it very seriously. It will be the most important public performance of my career.

      I will be ready. Krugman’s going down! Three rounds.

      • dmitchell says:

        Then best of luck to you. I’ll be cheering you on!

      • Brian Shelley says:

        You must break him. <>

  18. TokyoTom says:

    Bob, ever heard of “wonder” or “kindergarten”?