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The quote was from DeLong's rave review of The Accidental Theorist.  The next sentence reads:
But all these are outweighed by one fact: he is almost always--not always, but almost always--right.
Even in 1999, that was a stretch.  By 2009, what non-Democratic thinker denies the consequences of the long-standing epistemic faults that Krugman's best admirer acknowledged a decade ago?


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COMMENTS (7 to date)
Marcus writes:

"By 2009, what non-Democratic thinker denies the consequences of the long-standing epistemic faults that Krugman's best admirer acknowledged a decade ago?"

Wow! And you're complaining about Hayek?

Robert writes:

What exactly are the consequences, though? Krugman's rudeness makes me shake my head, and I recognize that he is more interested in influencing people than open-mindedly debating ideas with other economists. But he's still enormously influential and I still greatly enjoy his blog.

David C writes:

I'm surprised and curious.

Do you, Bryan Caplan, think that you have extensive experience in either the mainstream media or the nature of political debate within the public sphere?

Do you feel as though you've extensively studied relevant material in fields such as political science or marketing?

Do you acknowledge that Paul Krugman does have a wealth of experience in this area?

Do you feel his work in the mainstream media has significantly lowered the quality of his published work in economics research?

Would you then acknowledge that his method of debate is purposeful rather than accidental?

Do you feel as though Paul Krugman is immoral or evil?

Given your answers to the above, why do you consider yourself qualified to pass judgement on the way he conducts himself as a political pundit?

Here's what somebody else wrote about the way Paul Krugman treats him:
"On the issue of tone, I again think I understand Paul's point of view. He likely believes that civility is overrated. He seems to think that in the blogosphere, and perhaps in the public debate more generally, you score points simply by insulting your intellectual adversaries. Sadly, I am afraid he may be right."

David J. Balan writes:

A few days ago I left the following comment on Krugman's "Dining Room Table" post:

"I didn’t like the “Barney Frankly” quip at all. Frank was replying to some nutcase who had all but called him a Nazi. Even if Krugman is right on the merits of this issue (I don’t know if he is or not, but I suspect he probably is), and even if he has some doubt about the good faith with which Caplan and Cowen are offering their arguments (I know Caplan well and Cowen a little and I disagree with them often, but no such doubt is justified), that remark is still a very bad one."

(Bryan, never let it be said that I won't defend your honor!)

Nevertheless, I continue to think that Krugman really has been right and prescient about just about everything, and that he is on the right side of just about every important contemporary economic and political issue (the present dispute is a relatively minor and technical one, whoever turns out to be right). He is also the most effective advocate for these positions. Moreover, it really is the case that a great many of those who argue against him are either extremely obtuse or are arguing in bad faith (or both), so it is not totally crazy for him to suspect that this is what's behind any particular challenge from the right (and remember, Bryan is the one who's OK with statistical discrimination).

The bottom line is that he is undoubtedly on the arrogant and prickly side, and that this sometimes leads him into somewhat-understandable-but-still-not-OK attacks on people who don't deserve them. When that happens, he should be called out for it. But nothing that I've seen him write or heard him say has caused me to be anything but the huge fan I always was, and for what it's worth I'm sure that's true of DeLong as well.

George J. Georganas writes:

A very puzzling post.

What precisely are those "long-standing epistemic faults" ?
Presumably being "acerbic and boastful, unfair on the attack and unwilling to make concessions on the defense, certain that" one "is correct, and always sure that those who disagree are mendacious or foolish (or both)"

And their "consequences" "by 2009" ?
Presumably Krugman not being believed by "non-Democratic thinkers" because of his arrogance and other "epistemic faults" thus leading to a decade of free and unfettered financial markets ruining themselves and needing massive government intrusion. Whereas, if those "non-Democratic thinkers" had followed Krugman regardless of his "epistemic faults" we might have avoided the finacial meltdown.

Am I reading this right ? Could it be that Professor Caplan used cryptic code in order to actually praise Krugman ?

PS Another consequence of those "epistemic faults" is, perhaps, the Nobel Prize in Economics ...

Ryan Vann writes:

Seems you are onto something George. I took epistemic faults to mean faults in his methods. I don't know that implies a tacit acceptance that his conclusions are correct independent of his methods though, which is where you seem to be going with this.

I definitely don't think following a Kruman policy would have changed a whole lot, other than potentially jacking defecits up a bit more (not that I think it matters). Then again, I don't ascribe to the deregulation theory of the recession (poor regulation, sure, but deregulation, it never happened).

Koz writes:

"Do you acknowledge that Paul Krugman does have a wealth of experience in this area?"

I acknowledge that Paul Krugman is, right now, nothing other than a hack. It didn't have to be that way, but he's the one who made that choice.

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