Bryan Caplan  

Economists: The World's Got a Problem With Us

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If he was really smart he wouldn't be wasting his time with Kevin Drum and his ignorant groupies.

jb writes:

Hrrmm.

While reading those comments, I could feel the association between liberals and "reality based" fading into nothingness.

Neither side seems to have a good grip on reality. Mostly they just bicker about which part of reality the other side doesn't have a good grip on.

Richard Pointer writes:

I read through the comments on that site. It's an echo chamber of course. Kind of depressing, but I take solace in the fact that most of them couldn't follow an economic argument to save their life.

Bill writes:

Comments sections like that remind me how insufferable people of average intelligence can be.

Dan Kling writes:

It's curious. While I didn't read through all of the ridiculous comments, it didn't seem likely that anyone was going to say anything at all interesting or new. What was said in the first 10-20 comments was just repeated ad nauseum.

I wish that someone had brought up the idea that raising the minimum wage makes dropping out to work at McDonalds that much more appealing to the high school student contemplating whether or not to get a diploma. I worked for a local democratic campaign in Missouri this election, so I got a lot of chances to refine my arguments against the minimum wage referendum, and I think that that's one of the most compelling. If we want to help the working poor, shouldn't we at least try to not add to their numbers?

paul writes:

Holy Christ! Sometimes I forget there is a scary world out there...

Barkley Rosser writes:

Poor Robin. First he gets dinged for his prediction market for the DOD. Now this. But he seems to be handling himself OK. I think he should join the econophysicist, if he is not already one effectively.

Michael Sullivan writes:

After you ignore the mass of blather at the beginning (which is mostly partisans of both sides making silly cracks), Robin gets into a substantive argument at the bottom, and I think takes the worst of it. He's spinning to put a reasonable interpretation on his claim in the thread, but I don't think he has a good answer for Drum's criticism about the min wage as an example.

It isn't the second law of thermodynamics, or even evolution. It *is* an usettled question among serious practitioners. I don't think how the press usually handles the unsettledness is optimal, or demonstrates any understanding of the subject, but it's just as bad with unsettled questions in other disciplines (consider climatology).

As I said in that thread, the uncritical acceptance of everything that comes out of a physicist's mouth is a much more serious truth-seeking error than the typical perhaps overly skeptical treatment of economists.

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