21 Oct 2010

Latest Update on Murphy-Krugman Debate Campaign

Economics, Shameless Self-Promotion 8 Comments

Holy cow everybody, this is really taking off! I was out of commission for a few hours picking up my son, getting my car inspected, etc. (Cute anecdote: I told my son we had to get the car [emissions] inspected because of the government, and he told me he didn’t know what the government was. Ah, youthful bliss.)

The current pledge total is $2507! And you guys (and gals) aren’t nickel-and-diming it, either. Most pledges are $50, and our biggest angel so far is an anonymous $300 donor.

Let me point out two things:

(A) The bigger the total gets, the more this will attract others. For example, nobody at National Review would blog this right now. But if the total got up to $40,000, then somebody might, especially if Krugman had made some dumb comment about it.

(B) Let me reiterate how this works: It’s not even the case that The Point takes your money and holds it in escrow. Your credit card DOES NOT GET BILLED UNTIL KRUGMAN AND I ACTUALLY DEBATE. So it’s truly an issue of, “Would you be happy to contribute $x, in the state of the world in which Paul Krugman flew down to the Mises Institute and debated for an hour?” And remember, this wouldn’t happen for a few months at the earliest, at which point the dollar will probably be worth half as much as today. So what do you have to lose?

At this point, I am more than happy to pass this along to my free-market (but not Austrian/Mises Institute) buddies. What I’ll do is wait until the 24-hour mark has passed (which will be in a few hours from this writing) and then be able to tell them, “Hey guys, in the first day we raised $y! So help us push this up and light a fire under Krugman.” The total is so high now–and happened so quickly–that I bet I can get some regular econ professors to discuss it in class, just because the concept is so interesting.

Once again, thanks for playing. Y’all come back now.

NOTE: If you are somehow reading this post and you don’t know what I’m talking about, watch this video.

8 Responses to “Latest Update on Murphy-Krugman Debate Campaign”

  1. AC says:

    Not to be overly cynical, but particularly for the large pledges, isn’t there a danger that people will renege if there are indications it will actually happen? Perhaps making it easier for Krugger to say it’s just a gimmick? To be clear, I fully support the initiative.

    • bobmurphy says:

      Let’s cross that bridge when we come to it. I have some ideas on how to reassure both sides, but I don’t want to distract right now from the simplicity of the concept.

  2. Fogwa says:

    Over 3,000!

  3. Free Market Anarchist says:

    I just checked it and it’s over $3,400. Can I assume that Mises and LRC will be advertising this at some point?

  4. Jayson Virissimo says:

    Bob, what do you think of a Krugman-Delong versus Murphy-Garrison setup? Also, I think the LvMI is too hostile of a place to host a “fair” debate. Why not NYU (which has Austrians and Keynesians)?

  5. Carl Jakobsson says:

    One hour is too short. Such a complicated debate should preferably take more than a day. That is, since you disagree on such fundamental points (the efficacy of the pricing mechanism for one), that one hour will perhaps provide good entertainment, but you won’t be able to provide all your reasons why certain studies don’t prove the points one is trying to reach.

    There is also the problem of starting from differing views of what one’s opponent really means. For instance, Paul Krugman adheres to a different definition of Say’s Law than austrians, it seems, and if he really is unfamiliar with the austrian conception of that law, maybe he will describe the problem like he does in his blog. Such differences of important concepts must be acknowledged and, in some way, dealt with.

    I also agree with Jayson’s point.

  6. David B. says:


    Great idea Mr. Murphy!