Krugman Challenged

Krugman gets a bit snippy at 48:20. His objection is confused. He says Professor Schwartz tried to criticize his credentials. But Schwartz criticized Krugman for going beyond his capabilities, not for going beyond his credentials.

Schwartz makes a strong point about the “ratchet effect” in government policy at 1:09:00. He credits “ratchet effect” studies to the Public Choice school, although of course, it’s mainly an insight of Robert Higgs’, who isn’t usually classed as a Public Choice economist.

Here is Zero Hedge on the event.


  1. And then, when Krugman calls him down, Schwartz won’t even own it: “I didn’t run you down.”
    Yes, you did. If you think the guy is unqualified, and that’s an important part of your argument, then why pretend otherwise 10 minutes later?

  2. Of course he gets “a bit snippy”. The guy is invited to speak about a topic, and the first statement out of Schwartz’s mouth is “you’re not qualified to speak on this topic.” Whether that’s true may be debatable, although if that’s the standard then the allowable circle of commentators is probably small enough to be counted on two hands. Your hair splitting on “credentials” vs. “capabilities” is special pleading, at best.

    Regardless, Schwartz’s opening statement was definitionally ad hominem. Why not skip it and stick to addressing Krugman points directly? Schwartz was, quite simply, rude. Normally, who cares? Krugman is rude, Schwartz is rude, so what? But it set the rest of Schwartz’s commentary in a rather unflattering light.

    Why Schwartz could have thought that was the best lead is a mystery to me.

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