Macroeconomic Morality – Paul Krugman

Krugman (les kommentaren i NY Times først):

Macroeconomic Morality – NYTimes.com: «Macroeconomic Morality
A brief postscript to today’s column: contrary to what some people may think, I don’t regard anyone who disagrees with me as necessarily a mendacious idiot. Economics is hard, and people will disagree. Sometimes people will give advice with the best of intentions that turns out, in hindsight, to have been disastrous; that’s a tragedy but not a sin.

But here’s what is indeed a sin: choosing your position based on what is personally convenient.

I may make jokes along the way – I kind of need to in order to stay sane – but the stuff I write about is extremely serious; there’s a vast human tragedy taking place, and anyone who has the ear of the public has a duty to make a good-faith effort to get it as right as he can.

Yet all too many players in this game, very much including economists and public officials, very obviously haven’t been making that good faith effort. They’ve seized on dubious arguments, touted obviously weak evidence as definitive, looked for excuses either not to act themselves or for their friends not to act. And invariably the thrust of these bad arguments is to comfort the comfortable and give them license to afflict the afflicted.

I like to think that I have enough integrity to change my views when it becomes clear that they were wrong. Maybe, maybe not — although it’s probably worth pointing out that I didn’t believe in the liquidity trap and was pretty down on old-fashioned Keynesianism until 1998, when a hard look at Japan and an attempt to understand what was happening there led me to change my mind. Anyway, I try, because the ideas of economists and political philosophers matter.

And too many people aren’t trying, which is, as I said, a sin.»

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