Friday, September 09, 2011

I should really stop....

...however, I do keep reading blogs by libertarians. Here's one, where Arnold Kling describes another economist as using the "stupidest argument for stimulus". Apparently, that argument is that teachers are being laid off, and it's stupid because schools could instead be reducing salaries for teachers instead, if they valued these teachers so highly.

Now, of course Kling is averse to just about any argument in favour of fiscal stimulus because he is averse to just about any argument for government intervention it would seem (because the market always performs better - despite unending amounts of economic theory and empirical evidence to the contrary).

However, I think most of all it's just inconsistent of him. He says it's stupid because in economics there's always another way. Yet I suspect that when faced with the assertion "the deficit needs cutting", he wouldn't describe statements like "we must cut spending if we're going to cut the deficit" as stupid, even though perfectly equally, we could raise taxes to cut the deficit.

Maybe I'm just stupid, but I don't see what the difference is, and why Kling is also not advocating the stupidest of arguments, just because there is another perfectly reasonable way to do the same thing.


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