Bryan Caplan  

Tyler Gets Shocking

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Around the GMU lunch table, we've long joked that we ought to ship Tyler Cowen over to Princeton. At GMU, Tyler's contrarian nature and libertarian instincts wage a daily intifada. The best way to bring peace to Tyler's war-torn mind: Make him share an office with Paul Krugman and Joe Stiglitz.

If you want a glimpse into what Tyler would be like at Princeton, check out his review of The Shock Doctrine:

If nothing else, Ms. Klein's book provides an interesting litmus test as to who is willing to condemn its shoddy reasoning. In the New York Times, Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz defended the book: "Klein is not an academic and cannot be judged as one." So nonacademics get a pass on sloppy thinking, false "facts," and emotional appeals? In making economic claims, Ms. Klein demands to be judged by economists' standards — or at the very least, standards of simple truth or falsehood. Mr. Stiglitz continued: "There are many places in her book where she oversimplifies. But Friedman and the other shock therapists were also guilty of oversimplification." Have we come to citing the failures of one point of view to excuse the mistakes of another?
Of course, I'd fight tooth and nail to keep Tyler from moving from GMU to Princeton. But I'm just being selfish.


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COMMENTS (3 to date)
mk writes:

Funny stuff. I actually think Tyler works best as a contrarian libertarian. He's helping to bridge the chasm-of-talking-past-each-other that occurs between economic liberals and classical liberals.

It's pretty great to see him get really angry since he's normally so composed, but it would lose its charm if he had to do it all the time.

General Specific writes:

I don't think I could stomach her book and its tenuous connections and conspiracy mongering.

But it's unfortunate that someone with more credibility doesn't address the atrocious approach taken to imposing a free market in Iraq. That's a Shock Doctrine in practice: wet behind the ear kids with nary an understanding of anything, freshly indoctrinated with free market ideas from a few measly university courses, crushed a socialist economy and left--chaos.

Stupid. The idea that conservatives often tinker with what exists, mentioned by Tyler points in his review, was not followed in Iraq. Instead, free market kids and lunatics bulldozed everything in their Iraqi playground and left--nothing. A mess. Which will lead to greater messes.

TGGP writes:

Iraq doesn't have a free-market. It has price-controls on oil resulting in shortages, which doesn't seem to make sense considering they produce the stuff. Their constitution looks like it was devised by social democrats/progressives.

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