12 November 2008

Why don't young conservatives trust Nobel prize economists?

This is a quickie.


Spurred on by Ramesh Ponnuru at NRO, talking about generalities in Mark Lilla's recent column on conservatism:

The rest of Lilla's column abounds with gross generalizations—"younger conservative intellectuals" apparently all, without exception, "mock the advice of Nobel Prize-winning economists and praise the financial acumen of plumbers and builders." This from a guy complaining about a lack of intellectual rigor. Physician heal thyself.

Ok, I will give it a shot.

Both from UCLA: Harold L. Cole, not a Nobel Prize Winner; Lee E. Ohanian, not a Nobel Prize Winner.

Their work, just published, demonstrates that FDR's policies prolonged the Great Depression by 7 years.

And all the grand and glorious Nobel Prize winning economists haven't bothered to do this work.  It is simple, basic, work.

If they can't get *this* right, and have had the data for over 60 years, then why should they be trusted on *any* other topic?

Remember, if Nobel Prize Winning Economists can't figure out that FDR's policies LENGTHENED the Great Depression, then why should they be trusted on something like, say, Free Trade?

Doing work, demonstrating basic understanding of the world, and then analyzing the outcomes... those are 'conservative' ideals, no?

That grand lot of Nobel Price Winning Economists haven't done the most basic work on Progressivist/Liberal Economic theory to show their effects.

I have an extreme problem with that.

But then I do believe in doing the work, showing the numbers and understanding the subject.  And that doesn't require a Nobel Prize to understand.

Yeah, I got a dose of healing to hand out... just gimme the cluebat.


Harrison said...

Afternoon, kurt!

Wordpress' tractor beam has compelled me to move my blog to http://theawesomepossum.wordpress.com/.

I'm actually in Los Angeles right now, taking the quarter at UCLA - glorious weather, beautiful campus and a rather enriching, intellectually stimulating environment - all these make for a pretty great time! Thanks for your recommendations that you offered a few months back, when I was still deliberating over where to go for my exchange in the US.

A Jacksonian said...

Harrison - Most welcome! And glad you have new digs. CA has much to recommend it, only requiring scads of self-discipline to study... believe me, even at the worst of times you still have decent climate and only the threat of the Big One to worry about.

I'm plugging along on blogger, just backing up posts once in awhile, and adding some of my homegrown fiction and other works which are more interesting at the moment than endlessly repeating myself on the basics here and at the party site. Still stuck in VA, most likely for the winter... which is necessary but not good.