The Economy Today from the Perspective of the Great Depression, and the Great Depression from the Perspective of the Economy of Today
Duncan Black: David Ignatius Smackdown

Kevin Drum: Tyler Cowen Smackdown Watch: Noted

Kevin Drum: Attacking Stupid Ideas: A Dirty Job, But Someone's Got to Do It:

Tyler Cowen… consider this:

The relative rise of the Left peaks in 2009, with the passage of Obamacare and the stimulus. From that point on, the left wing, for better or worse, is a fundamentally conservative force in the intellectual arena. It becomes reactive and loses some of its previous creativity…. Attacking stupid ideas put forward by Republicans, whether or not you think that is desirable or necessary, has become their lazy man’s way forward and it is sapping their faculties.

Here's my question: Supposing, arguendo, that stupid ideas from Republicans have been the most destructive economic force of the past four years, then isn't attacking those ideas actually a pretty productive use of time for a left-wing economist?… It's hard for elegant new theories to get much of a foothold until the stupid stuff is finally and definitively put in the ash can of history…. Even after five years, right-wing economists are still pushing pet theories of austerity that make no sense, along with a variety of nonsensical RBC blather and monetary medievalism. Maybe the best course… is to ignore this stuff…. But you can hardly blame them for thinking that this might be a dangerous course, one that could end up in disaster for lack of pushback. I don't know if that's the right way to think about it, but it's not obviously ridiculous.

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