Home > Hayek, Krugman, Liberal, Libtard, Public Choice, Scientism > Krugman out smarted by his commenters.

Krugman out smarted by his commenters.


This article at American Thinker is wonderful. It’s like Christmas came early!

For six months, they made Krugman’s blog one of the more informative and interesting places to hear economics debated. In part, this was because they gave Krugman a serious run. Their posts were long, near the 5,000-character limit set by the New York Times. They were reasoned. They were knowledgeable. They carried citations to economic science literature that one might expect in a Ph.D. dissertation.
And so their rebuttals were often decisive.
For example, when Krugman a month ago drew one of his famous “trend lines” based on a single point, a blogger named rjh immediately responded, “These trend lines you are drawing all over the place. Pardon my French, they are complete garbage.” And nearly half of Krugman’s commenters joined to point out that Krugman was arguing junk. Krugman was forced to make two defensive replies; both were immediately refuted.
Responding to Krugman’s praise for the high taxes in Europe and his repeated denial that tax cuts might stimulate an economy enough to make up for revenues lost, a European posting under his initials jg pointed out that the low Reagan-Clinton tax rates made “being an entrepreneur interesting again. All those internet startups like eBay, Amazon or Netscape would probably never have been created if it weren’t possible for the inventors to get rich.” This anti-progressive notion that the “evil rich” might actually create growth if they were not taxed — on his “personal” blog, no less — must have made Paul spit up his morning coffee.
I don’t comment on Krugman on his blog because my comment have barely made it past the censors. I’m quite happy to see this level of criticism get past the censors, so much so that Krugman has to specifically address his commentor’s criticisms.
Things then got still worse. When Krugman repeated his claim that Bush’s tax cuts had “caused” the deficit and damaged the economy, commenters first taught Krugman how to count. They then cited two papers by the Romers showing that tax cuts help economies. Christina Romer is, of course, the chief economic advisor to President Obama.
When Krugman repeated one of his “debt is good” posts, posters linked to the economic science from Reinhardt and Rogoff showing that high debt is inimical to economic recovery.
Occasionally, Krugman attempted a reply. For example, he dissembled that Reinhardt and Rogoff had “highlighted” a single postwar American experience, which he dismissed as “spurious.” The commenters did not let him get away with it. Within 24 hours, Sean had pointed out that Reinhardt and Rogoff had found similar effects of debt in six countries on three continents over four decades, including Canada, Japan, Greece, and Belgium. Krugman then struggled to find something “spurious” about each of these. Sean‘s rebuttal showed that Krugman was refusing to meet any burden of proof. Still worse, Samuel showed that Krugman’s reasoning, if applied generally, would forever insulate Krugman’s ideology from any refutation of any kind.
…Which is perhaps what Paul Krugman wants, but it is not economic science.
Anyone that doesn’t drink from the Krugman Kool Aid Keg, knows that what Krugman produces isn’t science. It’s political propaganda. It’s propaganda of the worst kind, the kind wrapped in the rhetoric of science, but holds itself unaccountable from any form of refutation. Hayek had a word for it, Scientism.
I also found it interesting that Krugman has never even bothered to read any literature on Public Choice. It isn’t surprising. He’d have to admit that his Big Government policy proscriptions would cause more harm than good.
Krugman’s blog commenters were especially relentless in pointing out his inconsistencies. In one post, Krugman admitted that “politicians will always find ways to shield the powerful.” Posters piled on, pointing out that Krugman’s universal policy prescription gave politicians more power under the assumption that they would defend “the proletariat.” Krugman replied that he was “sure that there’s a large literature” on government cronyism and corruption. Secure in his big-government ideology, he admitted that he had never read that literature. But like the ideologue that he is, Krugman then expressed his faith (the only word appropriate) that “bureaucracy will do a heckuva job” if it is not “downgraded and devalued.” Bloggers responded by citing the latest economic science showing the impossibility of Krugman’s “utopian dictatorship-by-bureaucracy.”
So what is Krugman or his liberal Kool Aid drinkers to do, when they get rebutted with facts? They censor them of course.
By July, Krugman had lost his “Battle of the Blog.” On July 23, Latrina commented, “Who is this Sean from Florida? He takes everything that [the] Professor [says] and shreds it, piece by piece. He shouldn’t be allowed to post his comments on this blog since he seems to be winning all the debates. We progressives need to stick together and embellish our talking points without someone from the outside pointing out fallacies in our ideology.”
Krugman had also had enough. On July 23, Krugman showed that he was clearly no longer “in love” with his commenters. Now he called them “ranters” and “trolls.” On July 28, Krugman changed his comment moderation policy. Claiming that “ranters … say the same thing every time,” Krugman announced that he was going to throw away posts longer than “three inches.” His thinking must have been thus: Three inches are sufficient to write “Krugman is brilliant,” but not sufficient to present a documented and persuasive rebuttal to whichever of Krugman’s standard arguments he was peddling that day.

Do you really need anymore proof that Liberals don’t do economics? Facts hurt their worldview to much.


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  1. August 4, 2010 at 15:54

    I’m with you. I enjoyed this article a great deal. Major props for the authors.

    On my blog, I responded to this article in a post called The Emperor’s New Clothes, thinking that maybe the tide is turning and folks are getting “fed” up with nonsense.

    Perhaps, several years ago all the critical thinkers were busy with the hot economy. Now they have more time on their hands and they’re seeing the consequences of the bs (consequences matter) and they’re calling Krugman out.

    I never commented on Krugman’s site. I never understood his aura. I read an early column from him long ago, not having any clue who he was, and thought his arguments were fallacious then – and that was before I really understood what a fallacy was. I even wrote him a letter and telling him that I wouldn’t waste my time on his blather.

    A few times over the years I tried to read his column and couldn’t make it past the first one or two fallacies, which usually appeared in the first or second paragraph. I thought that there was no sense in reading something that starts with a basis of a straw man, which seemed to be his most common infraction. And I often wondered if I was crazy because he seemed to be so well respected.

    • August 4, 2010 at 16:07

      Well like we talked about earlier, most of the poeple reading him dont have much in the way of economic knowledge. That plus, his column and blog are more for partisanship than anything else. You know how hard it is to challenge beliefs, Krugman’s blog is a case study in the opposite, the reenforcement of a priori beliefs. Krugman is the ultimate for libersls that like to appeal to authority. Which is another fallacy, but its not like the teach logic and reasoning in schools anymore.

      Sent from my iPhone

      • August 7, 2010 at 12:53

        I agree. It’s amazing how much they take on faith and don’t realize it.

        My typical appeal to authority retort:

        Whether he’s an expert or not doesn’t mean he’s correct. If he is correct, we should be able to understand why by knowing his reasoning or the evidence on which he bases his claim. Since history is littered with experts that were proven wrong at one point or another, I choose to believe that everyone can be wrong and that’s why I’d rather rely on the merits of the argument, not the authority of the person making the argument.

      • August 7, 2010 at 12:55

        Mom use to say it simpler though, “So, you’d jump from a building if he told you to?”

        I think that’s an even better retort. That immediately exposes the folly.

        • August 12, 2010 at 14:27

          Ha ha the wisdom of the ancients right? I guess it’s no surprise that a lot of liberals I know, don’t think our parents and older generations don’t have anything to teach us. I know there is a name for that fallacy but I can’t think of it right now.

  2. yttik
    August 4, 2010 at 18:59

    “..most of the poeple reading him dont have much in the way of economic knowledge…”

    What I’ve found to be kind of interesting is the way people trust experts and academia. Something will sound illogical to them and they ignore their instincts and simply assume it must be because they don’t understand such heady issues like economics. That’s why people tried to claim Obama was so intelligent and just playing 11 dimensional chess. He’s so smart nobody can understand him and that’s why everything he does makes no sense to the little people.

    • August 12, 2010 at 14:30

      You got that right. Too smart by half!

    • August 13, 2010 at 21:24

      I know some who still provide that cover and tell me “we need to give his stuff a chance” because he’s so smart. Unfortunately, some of these are the people who asked me if I’d jump from a bridge. Yeesh.

      Any suggestions for a compelling dislodger (a sentence or two that might make them think twice about their firmly held belief)?

  1. August 14, 2010 at 17:40

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