06 Jul 2013

Krugman Debate Update

Krugman 23 Comments

Well, I adopted a laissez-faire approach to see if this problem would magically cure itself, but alas, it looks like it’s here to stay. With no notice, the entire site ThePoint.com went defunct. This was the third-party host of the pledges for my debate challenge to Paul Krugman.

In the grand scheme, this actually isn’t a big deal (for those who like the campaign), since I was eventually going to have to alter the original terms anyway. In the original version, Krugman would have had to debate me in Auburn, AL in order to fulfill the terms of the pledge, making it that much more unlikely.

Still, it’s a shame to have ThePoint go down, now that the pledge total was over $107,000 (highest I saw).

Now that we are starting from scratch, I’m seeking your input on a few key matters:

==> Should I continue with this tomfoolery, or just move on with my life, now that I’ve made my point (such as it was)? When answering, keep in mind that there are still lots of funny videos I had in mind. On the downside, even I’m getting sick of talking about Paul Krugman; I don’t want to be 65 and still have people come up after a talk and say, “So when is Krugman going to debate you?!”

==> If I start up a new pledge drive, which site should host it? I want it to have the same feature as ThePoint offered, where people don’t actually pay anything unless a set of specific conditions occur.

==> If I start a new pledge drive, what should be the philanthropic endeavor? I had originally picked the Fresh Food Program at the NYC Food Bank (with their blessing–I checked with their Development person back when I started), but it runs the risk of seeming like we’re making a joke about poverty. So, is there some other entity whom Krugman’s fans would love to see receive $100,000+, but yet my fans wouldn’t mind enriching?

23 Responses to “Krugman Debate Update”

  1. Joshua Roberts says:

    1) It is not tomfoolery. Or rather, it is and it is precisely the right sort of tomfoolery for the predicament in which we find ourselves. Forget the celebrity debate concept for a second (you and kruggy still gonna debate? *WINK WINK NUDGE NUDGE*) – no recipe here but to get cynical and start cracking wise at ppl who ask, it’s a good chance to try out new material on slobs.

    Krugman is an Ideological Jihadi, a NWO hatchet-man sent forth like some kind of pied piper to lead the newspaper-reading petite demimonde “economists” &c. (muppets) around in order to ultimately cow and dumb The People down so they will accept the technocratic structure – but it is a naked ploy to us, he is carrying out orders, like some kind of Hanoi Hannah: “Lay down your metals G.I. your central bank has abandoned you!” We know better. We are like some old timer with the thousand-yard stare, chasing the dragon to keep the nightmares away, we have no time for this charade. Moreover, this is for all the marbles and even the worst novice on our side of the firing line knows this at least Subconsciously and “in his guts.”

    This naked ploy with which they hammer the people into submission as they carry out the dismantling of the west (it’s already stripped, this is a salvage operation’s last leg), for which the krugmonster and his ilk are like grim, demonic cheerleaders, simply must be exploded and you are the perfect guy for the job. Fate, rising to the occasion, being destined for something and all that shit I’m not going to waste your time with. But make no mistake, the arc of history leads up to you and is in your hands. Either the myth is slain or it will dominate the people – either this dragon with a thousand glittering scales remains, ensuring slavery for all, or its many heads are cut off, publicly, and with all due viscera.

    Then again, this is all coming from a guy who wants to see him arrested for aiding and abetting alongside his paymasters, but I digress. Decisive victory for liberty can only proceed from a point on the timeline where the enemy’s ideas have been through down through such a reverse auto-da-fe (the heretics here will be burning the real alchemists and witches~ the people whove collectively engineered the holographic economic deathstar – we can talk about who darth vader really is after the phyzz torpedo is shot down the open exhaust port).

    How dare you buy into the rhetoric of the opposition one iota – youve fucking moved mountains and drawn laser focus down upon the enemy camp! You must continue. It is Imperative.

    2) I will leave it up to the greater intelligence of the community to vet this request and I am confident that an appropriate solution will be arrived at.

    3) This is a really good opportunity to pick a petard upon which to hoist the enemy – perhaps something to do with miners? or resource recovery sector in general? Again the calculations should be performed by a large dialogue – you might want to do some kind of symposia to this end and take in input via some event (online).

    Stick the laissez-faire vector – increase awareness and engagement. The enemy is a paper tiger and will fall the day we have momentum.

    • guest says:

      Hold a Mises event at one of the food banks in New York City.


  2. Jon says:

    First things first. Update krugmandebate.com

  3. DD says:

    Also, keep in mind, it doesn’t work to set up a pledge system like that and wait a year or more. I’m pretty sure the vast majority of those pledges would have been invalid just due to changed credit card numbers.

    How about make it a little more realistic for Krugman (he will never agree to a face-to-face debate) and ask for a back and forth written debate?

  4. matt says:

    “So, is there some other entity whom Krugman’s fans would love to see receive $100,000+, but yet my fans wouldn’t mind enriching?”

    why don’t you try the IRS?

  5. Maurizio says:

    Bob, next time you should pick Krugman himself as the beneficiary of the money. This way he is much more likely to accept the debate. 😉

    • Bob Murphy says:

      Right but no Austrian would want to give him money.

      • Daniel Jepson says:

        Are you kidding? I would give him every last penny I possess (which admittedly does not add up to much) in return for seeing him receive the public humiliation that he so thoroughly deserves.

        With that said, I think the food bank was the ideal choice – it’s even more embarrassing for him to decline that opportunity, making it that much more of a win-win for Austrians.

        Either way, please don’t give up on this! It has the potential to be the most awesome thing in he history of the Internet.

  6. Cosmo Kramer says:

    I personally think MMT needs more of your focus.

    I would admit defeat on this front. Krugman wasn’t going to debate you for $100,000 in charity. I don’t think you will have success getting again to $100,000 and surpassing it. The same happened with Trump and Obama. Trump offered millions to charity. Ultimately Obama released his B.C. because of the multiple lawsuits. Obama refused to give Trump (and charity) the satisfaction. To those types, pride is more important.

  7. Sam says:

    I think Prof. Murphy was much better than Trump in creating the bet. Trump left the charity open which made it vague. From the start it IS NOT about charity in general but about public pressure. Once this is understood as a tactic much confusion should go away.

    Prof. Murphy understood this which is why he made it specific. He can’t simply go back and do the same thing again because I suspect Krugman wouldn’t respond unless Prof. Murphy did more. The tactic of grass roots supporters pestering Krugman when he is on some show was a personal favourite of mine but it only works if the supporter is behaved but direct. Also it wouldn’t hurt if Prof. Murphy played dumb or gave Krugman some comfort so he thinks “I can beat this guy”. Perhaps by picking a topic or a title to a topic that would put Krugman on home turf by the sound of it.

    Ultimately he should have a thought out plan. But I completely understand it when he says that he doesn’t want to be known as “that guy” all his life. I would suggest he gets Gary North involved since this is really a marketing question and few in the austro-libertarian movement understands marketing like Prof. North. I would gladly ask him on behalf of Prof. Murphy if he wanted.

    • Cosmo Kramer says:

      Indeed, Gary North could help(if not already).

      I think RPM will have to wait ’til Krugman writes his next book for any possibility for a debate.

      • Sam says:

        I don’t think Gary North was in from the start of this but he should have been. He understands both parts of this project(the intellectual and the marketing).

        Waiting for Krugman’s next book might well be the best time but Prof. Murphy has to do some serious thinking and excuting in the meanwhile so he forces Krugman’s hand.

        If unsuccesful this entire project will seem trivial to outsiders but the upside is too big not to least give it another go. Next time he should definitely think grass roots. I remember Prof. Woods asking for some digital help on his website and I told him to get some of the several Ron Paul sites to cross post. He told me he didn’t have any connection which boggled my mind. People like Prof. Woods and Prof. Murphy are capo’s in the movement and they can call in favours Don Corleone style that many would love to perform. The network is there if they are willing to use it.

        Economists who don’t use division of labour 😀

        • Cosmo Kramer says:

          Who’s next after Freddy Krugman? Steve Keen?

  8. Sam says:

    Also I think Prof. Murphy deserves tremoundous credit for being an economist and activist and not confining himself to the theoretical only even though is also needed. His friend Prof. Woods has likewise pushed the movement(Libertyclassroom) not to mention Ron Paul’s homeschool project which is fantastic but long term.(he wouldn’t have any it any other way ;))

    The rise of citizen journalism/activism among the Post-Breitbardians/Tea Party has been surprisingly weak in the libertarian movement despite the enourmous potential in the grass roots movement as shown in that great documentary about the Ron Paul campaign:
    I don’t know if it is down to it being coopted by respectable forces that thinks getting a hold at universities or at CPAC is the way to go. Which would suggest they learned nothing from Ron Paul’s campaign.

    Prof. Murphy is leading by example. All I would demand regardless of what happens with the Krugman debate is that makes more videos and position himself in the conservative movement as the guy who can answer the questions now that Chicago School seems depleted and bewildered because of the crisis. He did that with his video response to Robert Reich which I thought brilliant from a positioning point of view.
    Also more the lines of this:
    The title explains all

  9. joe says:

    Krugman will accept when gold hits $500/oz. So look for him to accept about mid – 2014.

  10. Eric says:

    Second part first: don’t give up on pointing out his mistakes. Remember Hayek and Keynes… Hayek gave up because he was sure everyone recognized the errors of Keynesianism, but the world recognized instead that Hayek had given up because of (their mistaken perception) that Hayek recognized that he himself was wrong.

    Give up on the debate. He would never do it. Instead, claim the victory that is apparent: Krugman is afraid to debate because he recognizes that he could never win as he debates from a fallacious viewpoint. Apply to Krugman what the Keynesians applied to Hayek.

  11. Ken Pruitt says:

    There’s practically nothing you can do, aside from what you have been doing; keep up with Krugman and keep destroying him day in and day out, but you need to do it in a place other than this blog. YouTube or Mises Daily are far better mediums to deal with Krugman than your blog.

    Or, even better, STRIVE to have your presence felt on Fox Business. Push yourself as much as you can to be interviewed on Fox Business when and however possible. Sure, Fox News is a political tool of the Republican Party, but Krugman would be getting the public ass-kicking he deserves. Also, you can publically mention Mises.org as well as reference material.

    You win, regardless.

  12. Ken B says:

    Endow a scholarship for an economics student.

  13. RPLong says:

    IMHO I don’t think Krugman will ever debate you – not because it’s not a good idea, but because it’s antithetical to the Krugman oeuvre. It just won’t happen. To paraphrase David Lee Roth, “He’ll keep bringing the rain, and you’ll keep bringing the parade.” I say move on.

    But if you do continue, maybe you should consider donating money to Princeton U as well as holding the debate there. Maybe if the donations get high enough, the university board will put pressure on Krugman to do it. They could sell tickets and raise additional money. Charity-shaming Krugman might not work, but what university can resist the promise of more cash?

  14. Matthew M. says:

    You’ve really got to ask yourself how important getting a Krugman debate is. As much as we all want to see one, part of me agrees with Eric above. If you want out of this, now is the time to claim victory (however trivial) and move on.

    Otherwise, you’re going to have to get more involved with a new campaign. It’s not going to happen on auto-pilot. I’m sure many of those pledges you had were no longer valid. As for new sites perhaps Kickstater.com and crowdrise.com are options?

  15. Ken B says:

    I think of all the other never-to-be debates.
    The Murphy-Ehrman debate on whether the gospels are eye witness accounts.
    The Murphy-B debate on OLG.
    The Murphy-Callahan debate on whether Rothbard was a nutter.
    The Murphy-Harris debate on whether god can make a rock so heavy he can’t lift it.

  16. Karina Z. Fitzpatrick says:

    While public broadcasters are partially or completely government-funded in some nations, there are some countries, such as the United States, where some funds must come from donations from the public. Stations in these parts of the world commonly hold pledge drives about three times each year, usually lasting one to two weeks each time.

  17. Adrian Fiorito says:

    I’m sure I wouldn’t be the only one who would prefer a debate on ‘Interest Rate Theory’ between you Prof Murphy and Prof Herbener.
    A debate on this pressing issue is far more fruitful and informative than one with Prof Krugman, which most likely will eventuate into nothing.

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