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Playboy Pushing Back on Mainstream Economics?

How can Playboy consider heterodox economic theories that much of the mainstream press dismisses?

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“I like it when people disagree with me, and take time to read my work and criticize it. At worst I learn how to position it better. At best, I discover I was wrong and learn something. I send a polite thank you note.

Krugman wants people to swallow his arguments whole from his authority, without demanding logic, or evidence.  Those who disagree with him, alas, are pretty smart and have pretty good arguments if you bother to read them. So, he tries to discredit them with personal attacks.

This is the political sphere, not the intellectual one. Don’t argue with them, swift-boat them. Find some embarrassing quote from an old interview. Well, good luck, Paul. Let’s just not pretend this has anything to do with economics, or actual truth about how the world works or could be made a better place.

It gets worse Krugman hints at dark conspiracies, claiming “dissenters are marginalized.”

Any astute reader knows that personal attacks and innuendo mean the author has run out of ideas.

That’s the biggest and saddest news of this piece: Paul Krugman has no interesting ideas whatsoever about what caused our current financial and economic problems, what policies might have prevented it, or what might help us in the future, and he has no contact with people who do (emphasis in original).”

That extended quotation comes from Cochrane’s response to Paul Krugman’s column September 6, 2009 article entitled “How Did Economists Get It So Wrong?”

Cochrane exemplifies our family’s rule that one cannot compete with unintentional self-parody.  I am proposing to my colleagues that we create a new economic medal for hypocrisy:  The Cochrane.  Cochrane is so logically inconsistent (violating what he terms in his article “the first siren of beauty”) that in his statements to the author of the Playboy article he proves the point he had so recently mocked Krugman for advancing:  economic “dissenters are marginalized” by Cochrane and his colleagues.  Dissenters are dismissed without ever being read – automatically “considered” beyond the pale.  Again, here is what Cochrane told Schultz:

“He was dismissive of their prediction of the credit-bubble collapse. ‘Beware those who predict nine of the last two crashes, okay? They’re just not rigorous and don’t use modern mathematical tools.  This business is a wide-open meritocracy.  You have to distinguish between closed minds and a lack of quality. The perception is that this is 1969 stuff. Give me new data and new ideas.’”

This is what passes for “rigorous” “crystal-clear” “logic” in Cochrane’s world.  He denounced Krugman for failing to understand that Cochrane’s views are driven by ineluctable logic, for Cochrane claims that economics as practiced by Cochrane is a “discipline that requires crystal-clear logical connections.”  Does Cochrane know how many crashes we predicted?  No, because he has never read any of our work.  He, a leading neo-classical quant, made up his numbers to support his conclusion – an all too revealing demonstration of how purportedly “modern mathematical tools” are abused.  Cochrane is to logic as “truthiness” is to truth.

UMKC economists, white-collar criminologists, financial regulators, public administration scholars, and law enforcement officials have given the world “new data and new ideas” for decades, but since Cochrane refuses to read the “new data and new issues” he gets to display his “crystal-clear logic” by claiming in an exasperated tone that he has not read any “new data and new ideas” from us.  Heterodox views will always fail Cochrane’s test – because he will not read their “new data and new ideas” he will not receive “new data and new ideas” from those with heterodox views.

 
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