My new two-way interview with Paul Krugman

Here is the video, link corrected, note it has hardly any overlap with my earlier Conversations with Tyler with Paul.  And the questions go in both directions.


Somebody is really playing around with the site today.

Though if they were going to such lengths, why not remove the now contextless 'link corrected' text?

I einfach konnte nicht fahren Ihre Website vor darauf hindeutet,
dass ich wirklikch exdtrem geliebt die Standard info
eine individuelle bieten auuf ihrer Besucher?
Istt werde werxen wieder regelmässig Auf check up auf Neue

Paul Krugman ...

Yawn ...

Writers have always drawn and always will draw, upon the allegories of moral consciousness, for the reason that the allegories are matchless- William Faulkner

Lest one forget, Krugman and Cowen have one very important belief in common: inequality means little. During the crisis, Krugman was highly critical of those who believed inequality had something to do both with the crisis and its length, describing that view as a distraction from the real problem of inadequate demand. With Cowen, inequality is a feature not a bug. Thus, inequality was not mentioned by either of them during the discussion. My view is that high levels of inequality promote asset bubbles (where else will the wealthy generate the same returns with aggregate demand weak?), and asset bubbles have resulted in financial crises. The Fed today is trying to get ahead of the asset bubble, raising interest rates for the supposed reason that inflation is looming, but for the real reason that the Fed is trying to tame the asset bubbles in real estate and the stock market, depressing both. Can the Fed tame asset bubbles without risking another crisis? And if another crisis comes, will the Fed allow asset prices to fall? Allowing asset prices to fall (the cure for a financial crisis according to the Austrians) would eliminate inequality (because the wealthy own most of the assets) but would greatly upset the wealthy. I have been fascinated by the contrast between the Austrians and this blog, and how the Austrians have tamed their views if not asset bubbles.

I thought Krugman just felt the case against inequality wasn't proven rather than was highly critical

Why are people so critical of Paul Krugman ? Only because of the bad predictions he made ?

Is there any other reason ? e.g. he said something, which is grossly wrong about economics ?

It's not that Krugman's predictions are wrong. Anyone who tries to predict the future will be wrong most of the time.

My problem is that he casts his own predictions as brilliant and certain, rarely acknowledges the failures, and accuses anyone who disagrees with him of being stupid, trivially easy to refute (without actually doing so), or somehow deeply flawed in thinking and/or morals.

He's made demonstrably false statements, not just bad predictions. For instance, he has apparently never heard of carried interest, so he insisted that there was something corrupt about how the general partner of the Texas Rangers partnership (George Bush) received a share of the total profits that was disproportionate to his capital contribution.

Pure tribalism.

No. I dislike him for his smug and overbearing disdain for those who don’t agree with his progressive views. He literally says conservatives are dumber. I respect pundits on both the left and right who don’t have the same disdain.

So wait, we are supposed to go out and rake the forest?

Firefighter with take:

Firefighter with RAKE (!):

Oh, this one is also good:

Not saying conservatives are all dumb, but they do spend a fair amount of time ignoring the dumbness within their ranks.

I don't dislike him, but I am better at math than him, and I don't lie about people I disagree with, and I actually like Americans, both the poor ones and the rich ones.

So I feel sorry for him that he is not very good at math (in spite of his red-headed step-child prize), I feel sorry for him that he does not know it is bad for the soul to lie, even about people we feel morally superior to, and I feel sorry for him that he lives in a country with so many rich and poor people that he obviously dislikes, at some weird sub-Biblical cold sad level.

Maybe in his elderly years he will understand, and help others to understand. Hasn't happened yet, and that is sad.

I am better at math than him,

Cite needed.

Not really. No cite is needed, and I will now explain to you why.

Ask me a question, a deep question, about a mathematical topic that I know about and am creative in.

If you understand my answer, then you can assess.
If you don't, you can't.

That is my explanation.

Hint: your next move is to ask what mathematical topics I am creative in.

(By the way, at my best, I am easily one in ten thousand. Poor Krugman, at his best in real math, as opposed to "please the professor" math, was easily one in a thousand, at most. I hope that helps you prepare your questions. But remember this "cite needed" is not a good thing to say. Either you respect a person for what they can teach you, or you don't. No need, for those of us who understand the world at a real level of understanding, to rely on citations).

Your move.

Krugman's not a math professor. If he's better than 99.9% at math, it doesn't make sense to say that he is "not very good at math". I doubt that there's any evidence that he dislikes more Americans than anyone else.

The bottom line seems to be that he's a prominent liberal who makes forceful arguments. Thus, many right wingers on the Internet can't stand him, but also can't really explain why.

Those are good points.

I am a native English speaker but I meant to say "easily one in a thousand, or thereabouts" , and I did not say it that way, because communication is difficult ... I was thinking (incorrectly) as I wrote that the reader would approach the "one in a thousand" concept from the lower bound, rather than from the higher bound - so what I should have said was "easily one in a thousand, but probably not much more" (which, from my humble one in ten thousand point of view - humble because there are many many people better at math than someone who is a mere one in ten thousand -
from the humble view of someone who is merely one in ten thousand - is not all that harsh of a comment. Not harsh at all, to tell the truth).

English - and language in general - is hard.

And I think you meant to say that "I doubt there's any evidence that he dislikes more Americans than any other similar polemicist, on the right or left", but I do not want to presume .... I know plenty of Americans who more or less like everybody they meet who is not either an obvious criminal or an obvious dirtbag.

I could run the numbers for you , with appropriate anecdotes from my pals who work at the DMV and at Walmart and, yes, at very powerful law firms and places near very interesting neighborhoods, but that is not necessary.

if you want to join the crowd of people who write sarcastic comments on the internet in response to comments like the comment I posted a few minutes ago

go ahead

but before you do think of this

i have had a hard life but it was worth it all to know how easy it is to pray for people who unsuccessfully hate me and hate what I say

and in that hard life I have ignored the pain and hardship thousands of times to be kind to someone who would if you thought about it long enough would remind you of someone - your grandma, that teacher who understood why you said messed up things, or your ugly friend who was sad that nobody cared about him or her, and you said, nobody?, and she said, well maybe Efim Polenov, but I feel like he has had a harder life than me so he does not really count (I remember I promise you I remember, and yes I was kind not because I thought I needed to be, I was kind because I liked you, and was fond of you...try and liked me too and that made me so happy, try and remember --- yes I knew how important you are....)

tomorrow morning, after we all go through the hard years people living in this world go through

you, if you cared enough about what I wrote to be tempted to "wittily" say something "successfully" negative, will pour me a cup of coffee

or not


my guess is that you will

success is not what bad people think it is, it is what people who know God loves them think it is

"Witty" people are only funny when they know that

God loves us all the way we are but loves us too much to let us stay that way, almost always, and

there is nothing better than being a friend to a creature who never had a friend on this earth, always

Thanks for reading

try and remember

this is not necessarily 2018

this is the year

where we try as hard as we can to remember the times we were kind and the times where what we did was important to other people, and where we hope to do that again

Wake Up Wake Up Wake Up

Or better yet, tell me what kind of math YOU are creative at, and ask me if I can help you understand it better.

Knowledge is good, and we are all friends of knowledge.

And don't ever ask me for a cite again, if you respect knowledge and those who love it, as I do.

Thanks for reading.

See, you could have been nice, and I would have made you much more intelligent, but you logged into a website, read a comment you did not understand but which raised your hackles, and you typed in two insulting words.

Grow up. In a few years, or even a few moments, you can be the sort of guy or gal who does Not write snarky comments on the internet in a disrespectful way. And, not to be clever or anything, that is actually more than infinitely better than the alternative. (verb. sap. sufficit)

Understanding of others' points of view is priceless.

You are welcome for the good advice, and don't talk to me again until you have apologized; I do not care about an apology, but seriously .... you log into the internet and drop two insulting words, and you expect not to be criticized, you expect not to be given good advice from someone like me, who is incapable of feeling insulted at the misconceptions of others ? --- I just want to help, you can do better.

And yes I know you wrote two words and I typed a few hundred.

I am guessing that I was helpful.

If I wasn't, no loss.

If I was ---- that is another story.

Gee, I don't know. Hysterical partisanship, maybe?

What are you, fifteen years old?

Yes. I am a newbie to economics.
I have not read much of what Krugman has written other than a few articles - e.g. "the myth of asian miracle".
Last week there was a FB post that Krugman is going to teach a class entitled "economics and society". On that almost 80% people (respondents) were highly critical of Krugman. That is why I asked.

Ah. Ok. There may have been a time when Paul Krugman was an economist, but that was long, long ago. Twenty years is a good guess.

Since then, he has been nothing more than a hysterical mouthpiece for the Democrat party. Just a Rush Limbaugh for the Left, albeit with much less influence.

And all of that is fine, honestly... except that people like Tyler keep insisting he is legit. Thankfully, sane people have caught on.

I think Tyler has a stubborn attachment to Krugman. Sadly, Krugman is no longer an intellectual - he is merely a parrot of the progressive dogma.

It is sad to watch a man fall that far

Transnational Pants Machine, Can you point me to 3 worst pieces of Krugman ?

(Of course I am searching on the sidelines too. But if you remember the worst ones then that would help.)

30 years not 20 years

This was really enjoyable to view and listen.

Many thanks from down under

Watched it full and was totally worth it. Thank you.

I'm not sure where I left my last comment on cryptocurrencies and blockchain. I believe it was the cryptocurrencies were out and blockchain might be possible.

For what it's worth, this podcast convinced me that I was wrong:

What I didn't get was that blockchain is still very computationally expensive, and requires a great deal of coordination, and as the guest says if you are going to do that coordination you can do it without blockchain expense.

And you can still use strong encryption and authentication.

Between 1937 and 1942, the University of Chicago was a fine place to begin to be an economist. The economists at the University covered a wide spectrum of thought; there was no dominant Chicago School. The emphasis upon intellectual rigor and seriousness was combined with a wide definition of the subject. Only Lange (and perhaps Douglas) of the senior faculty was sympathetic to Keynes, but perhaps this was due to the prior acceptance by the other members of the faculty of the need for a strong expansionary fiscal policy during the depression. Having reached this “Keynesian” policy conclusion by observing the economy, orthodox economists at Chicago felt no strong need to revolutionize economic theory. Beginnings HYMAN P. MINSKY

I thought it was a very good discussion, but Prof. Krugman seems unaware of the Chicago Plan of 1933.

Ask him if the Yellow Devils should free Mr. Ghosn, who, as of now, is a political prisoner in Japan. The same Japan which invaded China, Korea, attacked the Soviet Union, betrayed Brazil and attacked the Indochina.

I think this interview just shows how different Krugman and Cowen are from each other, not ideologically but how they approach their careers. Krugman is an awkward nerd, who is a star economist, but not a very good teacher, and now just rides on his fame to get by in the economics profession. Cowen is more sociable (for an economist), he's not a star but he is an excellent teacher and is widely in touch with the entire economics profession.

Tyler is much more interesting - unpredictable, oblique, and funny. Krugman is predictable, tiresome, strident, and, worst of all, boring.

Regarding metrics of government quality, how about the Index of Economic Freedom?

For countries at the same level of GDP per capita, the Index of Economic Freedom helps explain a lot about differential growth rates.

I’m not saying it is perfect, and indeed we could use researchers in every University studying how to improve the Index based on how well it predicts growth.

Second item, while Paul and Tyler may be converging on demand driving the recession and slow recovery, there was not one word about optimal government response. Looser money, higher government spending, or what?

I still doubt that money dropping helicopters can actually encourage sustainable self-organization of the economy to reflect new truths about business and credit. The studies on the (less than what Paul wanted) stimulus show has pathetically slow and inefficient it was in generating demand.

Krugman's a sh*tpot, and his contribution to public life since 2000 has been unrelievedly negative. What's you're excuse for behaving as if he's anything but what he is?

Paul Krugman, I heard, wrote in 1998 that "by 2005 it will be clear that the impact of internet will be no more than that of the fax machine".

And in 2016 (or so) he was writing in NYT that "Amazon has too much of monopsony power". Here is his quote from the article -

"Does Amazon really have robber-baron-type market power? When it comes to books, definitely. "

Now - isn't that big enough impact ?

Aren't you, Mr. Krugman, directly admitting that AN INTERNET BASED COMPANY has tremendous impact ?

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