Thursday, October 21, 2010

Should Paul Krugman and Robert Murphy Debate?

Perhaps the best Paul Krugman critic on the web today is Robert Murphy, who has managed to break down a number of Krugman's arguments and point out the Princeton Prof's errors. Obviously, it is time for these two men to debate!

See more on this proposal at this site. Debate!!!!


Bob Roddis said...

Krugman will NEVER debate. Despite Rand Paul’s failings as a war-hawk, he seems firm in his anti-Fed views. Have you ever heard a word of this in the MSM? You never will. Yes, they are afraid, very afraid.

Last December, Krugman referred to Austrians as “banana fungus” and “The New Larouchies” when challenged to debate.

Jonathan Finegold Catalan wrote a comment to that Krugman post and so did I.

Bob Murphy got the whole story.

I pledging some money anyway.

Bob Roddis said...

My first typo ever:

I'M pledging some money anyway.

Lord Keynes said...

Sure, let's see that debate.

And again my challenge for you to point out where Schiff predicts a housing bubble in these videos:

is still unrefuted.

Bob Roddis said...

I've been an Austrian since 1973 and I knew the bust was coming and I knew why.

I'm not going to debate when or if Peter Schiff said anything. It's not relevant whatsoever to the ABCT vs Keynes debate. Keynesianism was the cause of the bubble and bust and Keynes has lost the debate.

Lord Keynes said...

I've been an Austrian since 1973 and I knew the bust was coming and I knew why.

Yeah, just like Marxists *knew* the end of capitalism was coming and how Marxists are always *predicting* the end of capitalism, or how Marxists Paul Sweezy and Paul Baran *predicted* the 2008 crisis:

Austrians and Marxists have been predicting crises in every year for decades - and are mostly always wrong.

Keynesianism was the cause of the bubble and bust and Keynes has lost the debate.

You clearly don't have the foggiest idea what Keynesianism is.
A neo-liberal system of dysfunctional financial regulation, asset price bubble economics, and excessive private debt has nothing to do with traditional Keynesianism.

The blame for the 1990s tech bubble and housing bubble lies with the ex-Rand acolyte Greenspan and other New Classicals/neoliberals

Lord Keynes said...

And regarding ABCT, the Hayek/Garrison ABCT crew couldn't even convince Schumpeter, Lachmann, or Kirzner that it was serious universal theory of business cycles. Israel Kirzner on

KIRZNER: I’ve never felt that the Hayekian business cycle theory was essentially Austrian. In fact, Mises, who was the originator of this whole idea in 1912, didn’t see it as particularly Austrian either. There are passages where he notes that people call it the Austrian theory, but he says it’s not really Austrian. It goes back to the Currency School and Knut Wicksell. It’s certainly not historically Austrian. Further, I would claim that, as developed by Hayek, there are many aspects of it that are non-Austrian. I don’t believe that to be an Austrian you have to buy into the Hayekian view of business cycles …. I think the way Hayek developed it was not quite consistent with the way Mises laid it out in 1912

Mario Rizzo:

“The first thing to keep in mind is that while [ABCT] … embodies “Austrian” characteristics it is not an official Austrian theory. What do I mean by that? Eminent Austrian economists have made important criticisms of the bare-bones theory. For example, Israel Kirzner has criticized the theory for not taking entrepreneurship seriously. Where are the alert entrepreneurs either in the boom phase or the recession phase? There are profits to be made from avoiding mistakes. Another eminent Austrian economist, Ludwig M. Lachmann — one of the main contributors of the development of the idea of capital heterogeneity which is an important constituent part of the cycle theory — criticized the ABCT for assuming that agents simply expand their investment whenever interest rates fall.

If you cant even convince your fellow cultists, you got no chance of convincing serious economists.

Anonymous said...

This guy smells like a FED...

Anonymous said...


"If you cant even convince your fellow cultists, you got no chance of convincing serious economists."

Wow... The irony of that statement coming from a post-keynesian... I had to have my buddy punch me after I read that in order to stop my laughter. I mean, seriously, I was starting to have trouble breathing.

Yet again, the pathetic conspiracy theorist tries to base his argument on irrelevancies and other things that don't bear up to even minor scrutiny. I mean, is it any wonder that they have trouble even debating new keynesians? I mean, it's like they consistently challenge Stephen Hawking to a basketball match and consistently lose.

Lord Keynes said...

Wow... The irony of that statement coming from a post-keynesian.. etc. etc.

Nice evasion.
Doesn't answer the question, though.

Not even the Austrians Kirzner and Lachmann thought ABCT was a "universal" theory of the cycle, so your own school doesn't even completely support ABCT.

Why bother trying to convince neoclassical libertarians, monetarists, new Classicals, New Keynesians, or Post
Keynesians, when you have your own Austrian skeptics?

Anonymous said...

@Lordkeynes: Who said it was an evasion? Just an observation. I'm not the one you're arguing with. You even share the same kind of paranoia and propensity for quote-mining seen in radical creationists.

Bob Roddis said...

In his desperation*, “Lord Keynes” is showing his complete unfamiliarity with basic Austrian concepts. Everyone knows there were differences between Hayek and Mises. That a more technical and detailed analysis of entrepreneurship allegedly had to await Kirzner’s work does not refute the basic insight of the Austrian School. Artificially increasing the amount of loanable funds (which are in fact loaned out) in excess of real savings is going to distort the price structure and thus the capital structure because people will not know what anything is worth. This is going to impact more complex and longer term investments more than simpler and shorter term investments or products . I don’t see how that is even debatable, being self evident in the extreme. Keynesians, chartalists and inflationists of whatever variety will never focus on that core insight and will fuss and whine about everything else under the sun.

Peter Klein examines Kirzner’s contribution to Austrian thought here.

BTW, I have yet to see a criticism of Bob Murphy's three-pronged chart which is simply more evidence of the obvious. Money dilution screws up complex, longer term projects more than simpler, shorter term projects. DOH.

*Recall LK’s hysterical “gotcha” moment regarding “consumers” buying houses. As I said, desperation.

Lord Keynes said...

Everyone knows there were differences between Hayek and Mises.

Well done.
Yes, that's what I said.

As Lachmann argued, there is no necessary reason why "agents simply expand their investment whenever interest rates fall."

And as for the fallacies underlying ABCT, see
Robert L. Vienneau, “Some Capital-Theoretic Fallacies of Austrian Economics” Independent
October 2007

Robert L. Vienneau, "Some Capital-Theoretic Fallacies in Garrison’s Exposition of Austrian Business Cycle Theory," September 4, 2010

Bob Roddis said...

As Lachmann argued, there is no necessary reason why "agents simply expand their investment whenever interest rates fall."

I agree. Interest rates must be artificially lowered, funny money must be created out of thin air, and people must be duped. If people weren't duped (and dupes), they would immediately rise up and execute the inflationists.

It's a chicken/egg thing. A smart populace wouldn't have a funny money-creating central bank. A populace of the weak-minded will fall for inflationist tricks because they are too dull to see the surreptitious wealth transfers which are the raison d’etre of Keynesianism.

The impairment of economic calculation must invariably occur. To whom, how much, regarding what, where and why always will depend on the specific circumstances.

Bob Roddis said...

Vienneau cites Walter Block, one of the kings of Austrian anarcho-capitalism. I've been reading Block for 37 years. One of my heroes.

But you knew that, right?

I've got my problems with those triangles too. So what? That still makes you wrong and the inflationists are still the cause of our problems.

Anonymous said...

@LordKeynes: Do you ever come up with your own arguments, or do you just regurgitate them from outside sources?

And what a whore you are in this regard as well. Neo-Ricardians? Other Austrians? Even Marxists? Will you use any argument in your quest to force your will upon the economy, damn anyone who dissents?

Lord Keynes said...

And what a whore you are ... etc etc.

Excellent! Resorting to laughable abuse like this is usually a sign that a person has no arguments.

On the issue of arguments you can see my site. Another inconveient fact for Austrians: early Austrian economics was *not* all dogmatically anti-government.

Two of your precious founders - Eugen von Philippovich von Philippsberg and Friedrich von Wieser - were Fabian socialists:

Three cheers for Friedrich von Wieser, I say.

Anonymous said...

@LordKeynes: Interesting how, when you find yourself losing against someone like Bob Roddis, you'll immediately latch onto anyone you perceive as having a weaker argument. How ironic that you then follow up with an argument based upon an irrelevant ad hominem fallacy. But then again, if you understood basic logic, you would probably drop the post-keynesian bullshit.

If I thought that debating you seriously would yield any results, I would do so. However, I have little patience for someone who will misconstrue his opponent's argument in order to more easily knock down his made up straw-man to claim a false victory. Any argument with you would only result in frustration, as you would repeat the same debunked talking points over and over again.

You're like a crazy homeless person. I'm throwing bottle caps at you to provoke a reaction and laugh at your insanity.

Gavin said...

@ Lord Keynes: If the Austrian school was a "cult", you would think there would be no differences of opinion within the school. Are Dean Baker and Paul Krugman just alike in their policy recommendations?

If you want to do some more quote mining, here's a good place to start:

Krugman advocates for the Fed to cause a housing bubble, denies he advocated for a housing bubble, and then denies the Fed caused the bubble.

Lord Keynes said...

Vienneau cites Walter Block, one of the kings of Austrian anarcho-capitalism

And what does that have to do with Vienneau's critique of ACBT and capital theory?

And the other serious flaw in your analysis is that your anti-FRB position is untenable. Here the evidence of libertarian scholars shows FRB is perfectly moral in a free market and not a fraud:

See G. A. Selgin and L. White, 1996, “In Defense of Fiduciary Media – or, We are Not Devo(lutionists), We are Misesians!,” Review of Austrian Economics, Vol. 9, No. 2, pp. 83–107.

In which case fidiciary media are a moral part of capitalism, and ABCT cannot blame government or evil FRB banks for the business cycle.


Keep up the good work!! :)

Anonymous said...

@LordKeynes: Yes, your rambling has provided plenty of laughter for those of us without your unique delusions. Have you recovered from the beating you received in your second-to-last blog entry in the comments section? And how curious that this was when you could control what comments could be posted. Who knows what other criticisms you let slip through the cracks for nefarious reasons?

Bob Roddis said...

Re: Selgin and White

If someone wants to voluntarily deposit money in a fractional reserve "free-banking" institution with full disclosure of what was going on, go for it. Why a normal person would accept bank notes from such an institution is beyond me since it would invariably suffer from bank runs and when you show up to claim your gold, it might just all be gone.

My point (which you always ignore) is that the creation of fiat money is outright GRADE A 100% theft of someone else's purchasing power. And we've endured months of Chartalist yapping explaining how Austrian concerns about morality are passe and simply do not matter in our marvelous world of the future.

Anonymous said...

A physical debate places too much importance on characteristics of the debators. I would rather see the debate continue in places like this site and on the Mises site. This thread shows that what people see depends alot on what they already believe. I don't think putting lots of eggs in a single debate basket makes sense.

Bala said...

Lord Keynes,

It is a wonder that you persist even though all your objections were disposed off on your on blog.