Tyler Cowen on Pretense
By David Henderson
On his blog today, Tyler Cowen, who does not usually use harsh language, does use it when referring to libertarians. He writes:
By the way, some libertarians like to pretend that Milton Friedman blames the Fed for “contracting” the money supply by one-third in that period but in reality Friedman blames the Fed for having let the money supply fall by one-third and not having run a bank bailout.
He’s correct that Friedman wanted the Fed to increase the money supply. I don’t think I’m pretending when I say that I don’t think Friedman advocated bailing out banks during the Depression. As I think Friedman would have, last fall I advocated an increase in the money supply while opposing a bailout. Those two, contra Cowen, are separable.
But here’s the bigger question for those of you who, like me, read Tyler Cowen’s blog regularly: do you recall his ever accusing left-wing statists of pretense? I can’t find an instance of it. If I’m right, what explains his asymmetric treatment?