Monday, February 29, 2016

Brad DeLong — Pragmatism or Perdition

Brad DeLong hawks his new book with Stephen S. Cohen. Looks generally good, but unfortunately it is not in paradigm.

While still stuck in the neoclassical "standard" model, Brad has a much broader and deeper grasp of his subject than most others and rises to the requirements Keynes set forth for a good economist. If he altered his views toward PKE and MMT, he could be a great one.
The study of economics does not seem to require any specialized gifts of an unusually high order. Is it not, intellectually regarded, a very easy subject compared with the higher branches of philosophy or pure science? An easy subject at which few excel! The paradox finds its explanation, perhaps, in that the master-economist must possess a rare combination of gifts. He must be mathematician, historian, statesman, philosopher—in some degree. He must understand symbols and speak in words. He must contemplate the particular in terms of the general and touch abstract and concrete in the same flight of thought. He must study the present in the light of the past for the purposes of the future. No part of man’s nature or his institutions must lie entirely outside his regard. He must be purposeful and disinterested in a simultaneous mood; as aloof and incorruptible as an artist, yet sometimes as near to earth as a politician.
— J. M. Keynes "Alfred Marshall, 1842-1924" The Economic Journal, (Sept.,1924), 321-322
Project Syndicate
Pragmatism or Perdition
J. Bradford DeLong | Professor of Economics at the University of California at Berkeley, a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and Deputy Assistant US Treasury Secretary in the Clinton Administration


Random said...

This article surprised me. Promote to post please:

andy blatchford said...

Dunno why you find it surprising Random...a subject we have been talking about for a while here, notice how less cluttered life is now? Most of my library is carried around on a couple of micro sd cards, I am not a big one for music but friends do the same with their music collections.