Russ Roberts has a post which is a pair of links to words by John Taylor, Stanford economist, and the man to which the Fed rule regarding setting the discount rate called the Taylor Rule is attached.

Note that the topic of these posts is the stimulus, with John Taylor arguing that it did not achieve the desired outcome and that it is impossible to measure its impact.

I’ve heard John Taylor speak on EconTalk a number of times and I’ve read his blog for a long time. I seek out anything that he has to say or write about. He is eloquent and rational. In the second link from Russ’ post, Taylor responds to criticism made of him (in the first link) by such stalwart economists as Krugman, Romer, and Thoma. His response is beautiful. It is utterly devoid of anything resembling a personal critique of his critics and utterly focused on the logic of his previous arguments and the logic required to refute his would-be refutation. Reading the second link (probably after having read the first link) would serve as an excellent primer in rational civil discourse for anybody interested.

Finally, to a secondary issue of the above, but a primary issue of many of my other posts, that there is such a debate at all (about the impact of stimulus on the economy, the ability to measure that impact; and really, the key point, whether macro is in any way scientific) is an indication that macroeconomics is in a sorry state as anything resembling a science. Macro is nothing more than policy and advocacy wrapped up in a thin veil of legitimacy. That veil was created by charlatans decades ago and is maintained by the descendants of those charlatans with great will and purpose lest those descendants lose their places of power in Washington and academia. Quite disgusting.

-JD Cross

 

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