Sunday, October 28, 2012

Paul Krugman excoriates Robert Samuelson for "mystical thinking"

 What’s really going on here, as far as I can tell, is a modern version of the 18th century physiocratic notion that only agriculture is real, that everything else is fluff on top. And we really shouldn’t be seeing a rebirth of that sort of nonsense in the 21st century. If you believe that we should have fewer schoolteachers and firefighters — or that education should be privatized — make that case. Don’t try to hide your prejudices under a mystical doctrine in which important, productive jobs somehow don’t count if they come from a place with a .gov email address.
The New York Times | The Conscience of a Liberal
The New Physiocrats
Paul Krugman | Professor of Economics, Princeton University

A deft thrust to the heart. While we may disagree with Professor Krugman over some aspects of monetary economics, he is a master of the take-down.


Unknown said...

As far as i know Physiocrats wanted to tax agriculture to hire more schoolteachers and firefighters. I don't buy PK:s interpretations of economic history.

Calgacus said...

Yeah, he is mean to the Physiocrats, who called themselves "Les Economistes" by the way. Comparing them to Robert (Got-a-job-because-of-my-last-name-even-though-I'm-not-related-and-have-no-idea-of-what-I'm-talking-about) Samuelson is an unmerited insult, but if it helps take down RS's bloviations, it is worth it.