Tyler Gets Shocking
By Bryan Caplan
Around the GMU lunch table, we’ve long joked that we ought to ship Tyler Cowen over to Princeton. At GMU, Tyler’s contrarian nature and libertarian instincts wage a daily intifada. The best way to bring peace to Tyler’s war-torn mind: Make him share an office with Paul Krugman and Joe Stiglitz.
If nothing else, Ms. Klein’s book provides an interesting litmus test as to who is willing to condemn its shoddy reasoning. In the New York Times, Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz defended the book: “Klein is not an academic and cannot be judged as one.” So nonacademics get a pass on sloppy thinking, false “facts,” and emotional appeals? In making economic claims, Ms. Klein demands to be judged by economists’ standards — or at the very least, standards of simple truth or falsehood. Mr. Stiglitz continued: “There are many places in her book where she oversimplifies. But Friedman and the other shock therapists were also guilty of oversimplification.” Have we come to citing the failures of one point of view to excuse the mistakes of another?
Of course, I’d fight tooth and nail to keep Tyler from moving from GMU to Princeton. But I’m just being selfish.