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aflanigan

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Location: At Sea
Gender: Male


Posted: Jul 20, 2018 - 12:24pm

 Lazy8 wrote:
 aflanigan wrote:
I was careful to quote you exactly, I think. You're now backpedaling it seems from "Krugman never met a tariff he didn't like" to apparently admitting that narrowly tailored tariffs or surcharges can achieve some narrow policy goals if done judiciously. I'm pointing out that you're sounding inconsistent, starting with what is tantamount to accusing Krugman from being a full-throated proponent of any and all tariffs under any circumstances to owning up to their having some limited utility under some circumstances, and that he allegedly has "in the past" supported such occasional judicious application of them. 
 
If you're going to quote me exactly kindly refrain from quoting things (quotation marks are the little"" symbols) that I never said. In fact, I never said anything like the above. Perhaps you've confused me with someone else?
 
I said Krugman supports tariffs when his party wants to impose them and opposes them when Republicans (at least a Republican) wants them.That he's a partisan shill. And this isn't limited to tariffs; pick a topic. Any topic. Chances are he's been on both sides depending on who's in power or whose idea it was.
 
But how dare I criticize a Nobel Prize-winner? Where's my endorsement by a team of crack Swedish political hacks? I mean, if they say you're an Authority you must be one, even if the award was given for work on a narrow topic (how international trade promotes urbanization, say) and passed over much more influential thinkers.
 
As to what his fellow economists think of him...well, I suppose that depends on which ones you ask. Since economics isn't just descriptive but proscriptive (that is economists advocate policy as well as describing its results) it's also highly political. Political affiliation can trump academic rigor within a discipline like economics—there are still Marxist economists despite the evidence of the 20th century soundly refuting everything Marx thought about how the world works, for instance. There aren't any universities with astrologers or alchemists on staff as far as I know, but being utterly wrong about everything to do with economics is not a disqualifier for holding tenure in Economics.
 
But here's a sampling of what his peers think of him. It's about as vitriolic as what he thinks of...well, almost every economist who isn't Paul Krugman. He can be remarkably petty and thin-skinned, but when you write an article about the 2008 crisis titled "How Did Economists Get It So Wrong?"—without including himself in their number, of course—you tend to make a few enemies and you invite criticism of your own.
 
He's a bit of a dinosaur. He clings to Keynesian dogma regardless of the evidence. But who's to say he's wrong? Well, he is. Whatever positoin he's just declared The Obvious Truth Visible to Anyone Who Isn't a Complete Moron he'll denounce it himself as soon as the political winds shift.


 
You're right, I was paraphrasing, and shouldn't have used quotes. Your exact statement was "He's all for trade wars...when Democrats get to wage them". My apologies.
black321

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Location: A sunset in the desert
Gender: Male


Posted: Jul 20, 2018 - 12:22pm

July 20, 2018 11:35 a.m. ET
 

President Donald Trump is steering U.S. economic policy in a radically new direction. From trying to revive steelmakers with tariffs to vetoing Chinese technology investments, he is using the federal government to direct which industries prosper and which don’t.

Many countries have long tilted the playing field toward favored companies and industries, a practice economists call industrial policy. American presidents have traditionally resisted this as “picking winners.”

The president has broken with that tradition, unveiling a series of actions on trade, foreign investment and energy he hopes will revive favored industries and beat back the competitive challenge of other countries—but which risk creating domestic losers.

His administration pushed strongly for a bill Congress is about to pass significantly expanding Washington’s power to scrutinize foreign investment and transactions that could compromise U.S. technological leadership.

These aren’t easily labeled a single, coherent policy because they reflect a mix of motives: nostalgia for America’s past industrial greatness, devotion to Mr. Trump’s electoral base and deep suspicion of China. What they do share is a willingness to override private business and investor decisions in the interests of national security, as Mr. Trump defines it.
Whether they will work is another question. The premise of industrial policy is that the private market doesn’t fully value all the benefits some companies and sectors bring the country: their contribution to national security, or to innovation and knowledge that spills over to the broader economy.
(not sure if this needs PW or not)

https://www.wsj.com/articles/trumps-emerging-economic-policy-picking-winners-and-losers-1532100935?mod=hp_lead_pos4
Lazy8

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Location: The Gallatin Valley of Montana
Gender: Male


Posted: Jul 20, 2018 - 12:16pm

 westslope wrote:
- just because Paul Krugman is off-side on the professional economist consensus on some issues and just because Krugman can be prickly and child-like on occasion does not mean that everything he writes is irrelevant or should be ignored.  

- as a general rule, when 'experts' stray outside their area of immediate expertise, they tend to make a lot of mistakes.  
 
I don't dismiss Krugman because others disagree with him, I dismiss him (in part) because he doesn't agree with him. If you want to change your mind then say so, and if you insulted people who disagreed with you the first time you should apologize. Changing your mind is a good thing—when you're wrong. The first step tho is admitting you were wrong.
 
But that doesn't seem to be the motivation for Krugman to renounce a position. Do deficits matter? Republican deficits do, Democratic deficits don't. Tariffs? Ditto. And on and on.
 
I'm not an economist. I'm not going to predict next quarter's unemployment figures, but I can spot an absurd fallacy when I see one. And if Paul Krugman gets to predict the future of the internet then I get to comment on his prognostications.

westslope

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Location: BC sage brush steppe


Posted: Jul 20, 2018 - 10:20am

Lazy8,

You are correct in much of your criticism of Paul Krugman.  I recall post Great Recession feeling really angry towards Krugman. In particular because of the NYT September 2009 article that you posted.  I also recall stopping reading Krugman on a regular basis after that.  

I agree that some of the name calling is childish and provocative in an unproductive way.  He writes like he is having a heated seminar discussion with colleagues that he knows well.

The Neo-Classical Keynesian synthesis may no longer be taught in graduate in schools but it is still taught at the under-graduate level and is pervasive in the media/business press.  

Krugman's obsession with the liquidity trap was unconvincing.

His advice to run bigger deficits after 2008 was not one that many agreed with given the exceptionally loose, stimulative monetary policy at the time.  But certainly in hindsight, the US had the room to increase deficit-financed expenditures.   For better or worse, Krugman's prescription fits with traditional Keynesian macroeconomic management.  

Krugman's call for increased deficit financing post 2008 does not fit with Conservative Keynesian macro management which emphasizes the use of automatic fiscal stabilizers and eschews discrete fiscal stimulus or discrete fiscal withdrawal.  

A couple of more comments:

- this discussion is more insightful than many of the comment pages on economic blogs by heavy hitters.  You Lazy8 and others are to be commended.

- just because Paul Krugman is off-side on the professional economist consensus on some issues and just because Krugman can be prickly and child-like on occasion does not mean that everything he writes is irrelevant or should be ignored.  

- as a general rule, when 'experts' stray outside their area of immediate expertise, they tend to make a lot of mistakes.  


Lazy8

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Location: The Gallatin Valley of Montana
Gender: Male


Posted: Jul 19, 2018 - 2:21pm

 aflanigan wrote:
I was careful to quote you exactly, I think. You're now backpedaling it seems from "Krugman never met a tariff he didn't like" to apparently admitting that narrowly tailored tariffs or surcharges can achieve some narrow policy goals if done judiciously. I'm pointing out that you're sounding inconsistent, starting with what is tantamount to accusing Krugman from being a full-throated proponent of any and all tariffs under any circumstances to owning up to their having some limited utility under some circumstances, and that he allegedly has "in the past" supported such occasional judicious application of them. 
 
If you're going to quote me exactly kindly refrain from quoting things (quotation marks are the little"" symbols) that I never said. In fact, I never said anything like the above. Perhaps you've confused me with someone else?
 
I said Krugman supports tariffs when his party wants to impose them and opposes them when Republicans (at least a Republican) wants them.That he's a partisan shill. And this isn't limited to tariffs; pick a topic. Any topic. Chances are he's been on both sides depending on who's in power or whose idea it was.
 
But how dare I criticize a Nobel Prize-winner? Where's my endorsement by a team of crack Swedish political hacks? I mean, if they say you're an Authority you must be one, even if the award was given for work on a narrow topic (how international trade promotes urbanization, say) and passed over much more influential thinkers.
 
As to what his fellow economists think of him...well, I suppose that depends on which ones you ask. Since economics isn't just descriptive but proscriptive (that is economists advocate policy as well as describing its results) it's also highly political. Political affiliation can trump academic rigor within a discipline like economics—there are still Marxist economists despite the evidence of the 20th century soundly refuting everything Marx thought about how the world works, for instance. There aren't any universities with astrologers or alchemists on staff as far as I know, but being utterly wrong about everything to do with economics is not a disqualifier for holding tenure in Economics.
 
But here's a sampling of what his peers think of him. It's about as vitriolic as what he thinks of...well, almost every economist who isn't Paul Krugman. He can be remarkably petty and thin-skinned, but when you write an article about the 2008 crisis titled "How Did Economists Get It So Wrong?"—without including himself in their number, of course—you tend to make a few enemies and you invite criticism of your own.
 
He's a bit of a dinosaur. He clings to Keynesian dogma regardless of the evidence. But who's to say he's wrong? Well, he is. Whatever positoin he's just declared The Obvious Truth Visible to Anyone Who Isn't a Complete Moron he'll denounce it himself as soon as the political winds shift.



NoEnzLefttoSplit

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Posted: Jul 18, 2018 - 1:07pm

 Proclivities wrote:

"More to lose" seems an awkward (if not inappropriate) phrase for an "economics" writer to use when they are trying to say it would be "worse" for one side.  China doesn't  literally have "more" of everything, but they could be more adversely affected by a prolonged trade war.  I guess I always think of that phrase in relation to something like a card game or some other sort of gamble, when one party literally has "more to lose" than another. I don't know, I guess I'm getting too literal lately - need more beer, or sleep, or something...

 
agreed. You need more beer. It is also far too early to tell yet. Just wait till the higher costs hit the consumers.


westslope

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Location: BC sage brush steppe


Posted: Jul 18, 2018 - 12:17pm

 aflanigan wrote:

{#Yes}

It is of course unsurprising that people of a libertarian bent have little respect for Krugman, as he does occasionally hold Austrian school economic beliefs up to ridicule.

 
I have a libertarian bent but also have a lot of respect for Krugman. I find him weakest in the macroeconomic sphere but he is still most worthwhile.  

The Austrian school had/has some interesting ideas but insufficient empirical support for many ideas.  

Krugman has been critical of the Israeli nation-building process and has lamented the difficulty of discussing the Israeli project.   I trust everybody knows what happens to "Bad Jews" or "Soft Jews".  

Ring, ring!   At 2:00 AM.   "Hello?"   "You are going to die."  
Proclivities

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Gender: Male


Posted: Jul 18, 2018 - 12:12pm

 kurtster wrote: 
"More to lose" seems an awkward (if not inappropriate) phrase for an "economics" writer to use when they are trying to say it would be "worse" for one side.  China doesn't  literally have "more" of everything, but they could be more adversely affected by a prolonged trade war.  I guess I always think of that phrase in relation to something like a card game or some other sort of gamble, when one party literally has "more to lose" than another. I don't know, I guess I'm getting too literal lately - need more beer, or sleep, or something...
kurtster

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Location: drifting
Gender: Male


Posted: Jul 18, 2018 - 11:54am

Oooops ...

Cramer: I think Trump is winning the China trade war, and the US stock market backs me up

Trump is winning the trade war because China has more to lose




aflanigan

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Location: At Sea
Gender: Male


Posted: Jul 18, 2018 - 11:31am

 westslope wrote:
Some unsolicited advice to all our pundits.

Paul Krugman has on occasion really annoyed professional economists in North America.  He is indeed an unapologetic liberal.  Many professional economists do not share his politics.

All that said, you really have to know your stuff before you start dumping on Krugman.  Even those professionals who disagree with him have a lot of respect for Paul Krugman.  

Partisan bashing of Krugman may earn brownie points with some ordinary voters but it gets you nowhere with Krugman's colleagues. 

 
{#Yes}

It is of course unsurprising that people of a libertarian bent have little respect for Krugman, as he does occasionally hold Austrian school economic beliefs up to ridicule.
westslope

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Location: BC sage brush steppe


Posted: Jul 18, 2018 - 9:11am

Some unsolicited advice to all our pundits.

Paul Krugman has on occasion really annoyed professional economists in North America.  He is indeed an unapologetic liberal.  Many professional economists do not share his politics.

All that said, you really have to know your stuff before you start dumping on Krugman.  Even those professionals who disagree with him have a lot of respect for Paul Krugman.  

Partisan bashing of Krugman may earn brownie points with some ordinary voters but it gets you nowhere with Krugman's colleagues. 


aflanigan

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Location: At Sea
Gender: Male


Posted: Jul 17, 2018 - 1:19pm

 Lazy8 wrote:
 aflanigan wrote:
 Did read it. Your interpretation of Krugman's alleged thoughts not really supported. Krugman specifically characterized the temporary import surcharge of 1971 as "hardball", and said "I don't propose this turn to hardball policy lightly" after pointing out how few options we had in dealing with Chinese currency value manipulation. He seems to clearly characterize this as one of the few untried options we had at the time in our limited arsenal of economic levers to exert pressure on China. So I think you've engaged in a fair amount of hyperbole in holding this op ed up as an example demonstrating that Krugman "never met a tariff he didn't like".

How about the substance of the Op-ed? Krugman is pointing to the correlation between the imposition of the temporary surcharges and Germany, Japan, and other nations raising the dollar value of their currency a few months later. It's true that correlation does not necessarily imply causation; can you point to evidence of what prompted these countries to raise the dollar value of their currency if not in response to the temporary surcharges?
 
Could you clarify what you're arguing here?
 
It sounds like trade wars, if carefully and judiciously waged, can achieve some narrow policy goals—a point I'm not disputing*. It doesn't sound like disagreement with what I posted, e.g. that Krugman has supported such things in the past, just not the current one.
 
*What I will dispute is that the long-term benefits are greater than the long-term damage, and that exchange rate manipulation is a doomed project—bailing against the tide. Something that does not require any remedy at all, let alone a draconian one with long-term negative consequences.


 
I was careful to quote you exactly, I think. You're now backpedaling it seems from "Krugman never met a tariff he didn't like" to apparently admitting that narrowly tailored tariffs or surcharges can achieve some narrow policy goals if done judiciously. I'm pointing out that you're sounding inconsistent, starting with what is tantamount to accusing Krugman from being a full-throated proponent of any and all tariffs under any circumstances to owning up to their having some limited utility under some circumstances, and that he allegedly has "in the past" supported such occasional judicious application of them. 
Lazy8

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Location: The Gallatin Valley of Montana
Gender: Male


Posted: Jul 17, 2018 - 8:51am

 aflanigan wrote:
 Did read it. Your interpretation of Krugman's alleged thoughts not really supported. Krugman specifically characterized the temporary import surcharge of 1971 as "hardball", and said "I don't propose this turn to hardball policy lightly" after pointing out how few options we had in dealing with Chinese currency value manipulation. He seems to clearly characterize this as one of the few untried options we had at the time in our limited arsenal of economic levers to exert pressure on China. So I think you've engaged in a fair amount of hyperbole in holding this op ed up as an example demonstrating that Krugman "never met a tariff he didn't like".

How about the substance of the Op-ed? Krugman is pointing to the correlation between the imposition of the temporary surcharges and Germany, Japan, and other nations raising the dollar value of their currency a few months later. It's true that correlation does not necessarily imply causation; can you point to evidence of what prompted these countries to raise the dollar value of their currency if not in response to the temporary surcharges?
 
Could you clarify what you're arguing here?
 
It sounds like trade wars, if carefully and judiciously waged, can achieve some narrow policy goals—a point I'm not disputing*. It doesn't sound like disagreement with what I posted, e.g. that Krugman has supported such things in the past, just not the current one.
 
*What I will dispute is that the long-term benefits are greater than the long-term damage, and that exchange rate manipulation is a doomed project—bailing against the tide. Something that does not require any remedy at all, let alone a draconian one with long-term negative consequences.

aflanigan

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Posted: Jul 17, 2018 - 7:50am

 Lazy8 wrote:
I posted a link to a NYT article (by Krugman) advocating imposing very high tariffs on Chinese goods. That was after a decade or so of relaxing trade restrictions between the two countries.
 
Did Krugman call that starting a trade war? Not in so many words, but that would be the opening salvo. Read the article. It could have been written by Trump if he knew more words.
 
 


  Did read it. Your interpretation of Krugman's alleged thoughts not really supported. Krugman specifically characterized the temporary import surcharge of 1971 as "hardball", and said "I don't propose this turn to hardball policy lightly" after pointing out how few options we had in dealing with Chinese currency value manipulation. He seems to clearly characterize this as one of the few untried options we had at the time in our limited arsenal of economic levers to exert pressure on China. So I think you've engaged in a fair amount of hyperbole in holding this op ed up as an example demonstrating that Krugman "never met a tariff he didn't like".

How about the substance of the Op-ed? Krugman is pointing to the correlation between the imposition of the temporary surcharges and Germany, Japan, and other nations raising the dollar value of their currency a few months later. It's true that correlation does not necessarily imply causation; can you point to evidence of what prompted these countries to raise the dollar value of their currency if not in response to the temporary surcharges?


NoEnzLefttoSplit

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Posted: Jul 16, 2018 - 10:31pm

The IMF, those meanies..spoiling all the fun
Lazy8

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Location: The Gallatin Valley of Montana
Gender: Male


Posted: Jul 16, 2018 - 8:12pm

 aflanigan wrote:
Not sure I'm seeing where in the cited op eds Krugman says what you claim in so many words. 
 
I posted a link to a NYT article (by Krugman) advocating imposing very high tariffs on Chinese goods. That was after a decade or so of relaxing trade restrictions between the two countries.
 
Did Krugman call that starting a trade war? Not in so many words, but that would be the opening salvo. Read the article. It could have been written by Trump if he knew more words.

aflanigan

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Posted: Jul 13, 2018 - 6:48am

 Lazy8 wrote:
 
My disagreement with Krugman on this point isn't that the trade war Trump started is good, but that there is such a thing (as Krugman alleges) as a good trade war.


 
Not sure I'm seeing where in the cited op eds Krugman says what you claim in so many words.
Lazy8

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Location: The Gallatin Valley of Montana
Gender: Male


Posted: Jul 12, 2018 - 8:25am

 aflanigan wrote:
I assume you are being tongue in cheek here.

If he has substantive issues with the recent Krugman post he could probably email him directly to rebut, or send an email to the Times. 

Didn't really see much substance in the initial post, just ad hominem and partisan bickering.
 
My disagreement with Krugman on this point isn't that the trade war Trump started is good, but that there is such a thing (as Krugman alleges) as a good trade war.

aflanigan

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Posted: Jul 12, 2018 - 6:58am

 westslope wrote:



You are brave Lazy8 to take on Krugman on trade issues.   Please note that there is no equivalence between Trump's trade war and the tariff action directed at China that Krugman was calling for.



 
I assume you are being tongue in cheek here.

If he has substantive issues with the recent Krugman post he could probably email him directly to rebut, or send an email to the Times. 

Didn't really see much substance in the initial post, just ad hominem and partisan bickering.


islander

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Location: Seattle
Gender: Male


Posted: Jul 11, 2018 - 12:23pm

 NoEnzLefttoSplit wrote:

I must correct myself.  Germany has consistently run a trade deficit with China

 
And you call yourself an economist {#Snooty}
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