Must-Read: Since Dick Schmalensee left the GHWB Council of Economic Advisers, it has been nearly impossible to get any Republicans on board for a serious push to do smart pro-growth regulatory reform--patents, copyrights, occupational licensing, land-use NIMBYism. Instead, Republicans' ideas of regulatory "reform" have been either a broad-brush approach that on net does more harm than good, or have been positively focused like a laser on getting rid of regulations with strong positive benefit-cost ratios: enabling consumer fraud, the freedom to pollute, and the manufacture of financial-sector toxic assets of one sort or another have been at the core of the Republican regulatory reform agenda. That and more tax cuts for the rich.

We get that powerful monied groups in the Republican coalition seek the freedoms to pollute, to manufacture toxic financial assets, and to engage in consumer fraud. But why have so many right-leaning economists been willing to enable them, and why have their been so few voices on the other side pushing for real pro-growth regulatory reform? Why hasn't Dick Schmalensee the Lord God King of Republican economists is somewhat the way Henry Aaron and Charlie Schultze have been of Democrats? There was a moment when Dick would say that Doug Holtz-Eakin would do the job... but simply no...

Paul Krugman comments on the Economists for Trump.

Paul Krugman: The Curious Confidence of the Charlatans and Cranks:

Notable... [is] the absence of many usually reliable Republican hired guns economists. But they do have a Nobelist, Eugene Fama, at the top...

And the substance of the letter--government bad! taxes and regulation bad! free markets rool like Reagan!--is pretty standard. What’s curious is why, exactly, anyone should believe this story.... GW Bush failed to deliver the promised Bush boom and eventually presided over disaster.... The job growth of the past three years and the income growth that has finally emerged would have been hailed as triumphs if Mitt Romney were president.... Clinton > Reagan and Obama > Bush, by almost any measure. Why doesn’t this reality seem to register?

One big answer... profound ignorance.... Way back Mr. Fama was caught insisting that there was a great takeoff of global growth after 1980 due to financial deregulation.... [But] growth in advanced countries has been slower... and it’s really, really hard to attribute Chinese growth under Deng Xiaoping to U.S. banking deregulation. But this is the right: legends... trump... facts.... This is a problem that won’t go away even if Trump goes down to defeat. People like Paul Ryan are barely more in touch with reality than @ilduce2016.

The Curious Confidence of Charlatans and Cranks The New York Times