What's Krugman so afraid of?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by fivepoint, Dec 1, 2010.

  1. fivepoint macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

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    #1
    Robert Murphy has challenged Paul Krugman to a debate on Keynesian Economics vs. the Austrian Business Cycle Theory. I don't think he'll take the bait, but the Libertarians sure are trying hard!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6cFXRFlvE3s&feature=player_embedded


    You can even donate money to charity (billed pending acceptance of the challenge by Krugman) to make the event happen.
    http://www.thepoint.com/campaigns/campaign-0-1240


    Well, here's hoping Krugman grows a pair and steps up to debate. I'd definitely watch.
     
  2. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #2
    Does anyone really believe that any country seriously sticks to a model for anything 100%?

    Whats the point of this debate when it doesn't reflect reality, at all.
     
  3. kavika411 macrumors 6502a

    kavika411

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    #3
    Oh, I don't know. Maybe the point would be to [wait for it] learn.
     
  4. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

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    #4
    Is this thread about a commuter bicycle scheme in Vienna?
     
  5. itcheroni macrumors 6502a

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    You have to consider that according to Austrian economics, the actions our government has taken to "fix" the economy will have very negative ramifications. This is due to our government, Krugman, and most people's acceptance of Keynesian economics. So I would argue that this debate certainly does reflect reality as we are living through and will live through the consequences of decisions based on these theories.
     
  6. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #6
    None of these economics systems actually exist other than in the realm of rhetorics.
     
  7. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #7
    In other news, Buzz Aldrin has turned down the chance to debate the Flat Earty Society.
     
  8. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

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    #8
    Sounds about as productive as asking Darwin to debate with someone about intelligent design. Reasonable people can disagree about religion and reasonable people can disagree about the meaning behind Darwin's scientific observations, but reasonable people can not have a debate between belief and science. One is science, the other is faith.

    I don't know enough about the economic theories to dismiss one or the other's theories, but it seems likely from looking at Mr. Murphy's link, that asking these two to "debate" is a waste of time.

    From what I saw, it looks like the central tenant of Mises (Austrian, whatever it is called) theory is talking about how wrong Keynesian theory is. Doesn't lend itself to a reasonable debate.

    Hey, I could be wrong. I'd read the debate transcript and maybe understand 1 out of every 10 things they talked about. ;)
     
  9. itcheroni macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    Exactly! Faith says one should do something, while science says if you do this then the result will be this. Just think about both economic theories and see which one is more like science or more like religion.

    Another application of the science versus religion metaphor is that religious people just don't want to face certain facts that science present because it would cause them to question their beliefs. I think it's the same with Austrian and Keynesian economics. In undergrad, I was incredibly liberal, thinking that a more powerful state was the answer to society's problems. I eventually woke up from that but it took a very long time to undo the damage. :)


    Well, some of the most successful investors have used Austrian economics in their practices. The reason is Austrian economics provides an accurate understand of what doesn't work. If you want to know what should be done, well that's more of a religious question. :D
     
  10. Gelfin macrumors 68020

    Gelfin

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    #10
    With all we here talk about "Austrian" economics here in the US, I don't know why it never occurred to me before to investigate what economic policies the people of Austria have adopted for themselves.

    Perhaps there is an element of "never a prophet in your own land" here, but on a cursory glance, it seems quite enlightening.
     
  11. itcheroni macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    Are you joking? :confused:
     
  12. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

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    #12
    Random web site

    I don't know much about Austrian economic theory, but it sounds like a lot of theory to support a political viewpoint, without a lot of measurement to support it. If that is the case, then it's not really economic science. Is it?
     
  13. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

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    #13
    Afraid? Doesn't sound afraid to me.

    From an article written by Paul Krugman (1998).

    http://www.slate.com/id/9593
     
  14. Gelfin macrumors 68020

    Gelfin

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    #14
    What would lead you to assume that I am? In this country when we invent something unquestionably brilliant we tend to use it to our own advantage. If Austria produced a small cabal of brilliant fin de siecle economists whose irrefutable theories must necessarily and provably propel a nation to economic greatness, then surely they would not ruin their edge over the rest of us by accepting any socialist impurities into their own system.

    Of course, they let their art college dropouts try to take over the world, so maybe they're just crazy like that.
     
  15. itcheroni macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    I know there are a lot of material which conflicts with Austrian economics because I would guess about 95% of economists are Keynesian leaning. My response is to not take "scholars" at their word but to go with what makes sense to oneself and challenge that. I suggest reading the chapter on monetary policy in Human Action.

    As far as science, Keynes's ideas have been tried many, many times in history with similar results. And the lessons learned from those failed experiments are taught in Austrian economics. Again, Keynesianism talks about what should be done, while Austrian economics merely explains the consequences. And it's called Austrian economics because Mises just happened to come from a part of Ukraine which used to be part of Austria.

    By the way, what measurement do you need? I don't understand what that criticism is referring to. If you want to look at a chart, check out gold. Austrian economists recommended gold(commodities) around 2000. Something to do with business cycles. Go back and look at what other economists recommended. Measured in gold, the DOW is down about 80% since 2000.
     
  16. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #16
    No we don't. Most of the backbone of the big inventions of the later 20th century (essentially computers and communications tech) were developed by the public (government owned or sponsored R&D) sector on taxpayer's dime. We hand it over to the private sector, who then export the production of that invention overseas. So what we have, essentially, is a system where development costs are socialized, then it is handed over to the private sector, where profits are privatized.

    Need examples? Take a look at computers, cars (we exported the process), communications technology (internet),etc.

    The USA is a manufacturing funnel to the rest of the world.
     
  17. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #17
    If you want to learn economic theory, take college courses, don't watch politicians with strong agendas debate on TV.
     
  18. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #18
    You'd think this would be obvious. The only real thing you can learn from a politician, is how to behave like a politician. By nature, they have to be dirty (aka "Play the game") to get to the level of influence they have.
     
  19. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

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    #19
    Gold's price has changed for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is the massive run up in debt caused by GWB and "fiscal conservative" and their tax cuts for the wealthy, 9/11 and Afghanistan, invading Iraq, oil price run-ups, etc... All of which add up to make higher gold prices.

    Unless the Austrian cycle prediction based its gold price prediction on these other factors, then they just got lucky. They did have a 50/50 chance of being right.
     
  20. Gelfin macrumors 68020

    Gelfin

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    #20
    *cough*
    ...and that's how you know I'm joking. Somewhat.
     
  21. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #21
    I was just using your post as a springboard for my rant, my apologies, it wasn't meant to be a direct response to you. :)
     
  22. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

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    #22
    Are you seriously suggesting that economics has anything to do with science?

    “The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable”
    Ezra Solomon or JKG (take your pick)
     
  23. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #23
    "If all the economists in the world were laid end-to-end, they would not reach a conclusion"
    George Bernard Shaw
     
  24. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

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    #24

    well just look at the german wikipedia article about the "austrian business cycle theory" ... oh wait.. there is no translation available ;)

    it's really interesting that it's get mentioned more in the macrumors PRSI board than in any austrian newspaper, newssite, or any another german language newspaper
     
  25. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #25
    I tip my hat to you, George.
     

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