Bill Keller's Slip
In an editorial in yesterday’s New York Times, Bill Keller decries the competition that newspapers get from independent sources on the web. That’s not how he poses it, of course. No. What he sees is a lot of loud, outlandish viewpoints.
I don’t deny that there are such viewpoints. But it’s interesting that one of Keller’s approving quotes is about people who would like to eliminate the Federal Reserve Board. Here’s the key paragraph:
“Nobody who is taken seriously as an economist is going to say ‘cancel the Fed,’ ” said Glenn Hubbard, the dean of Columbia Business School, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under George W. Bush, and now Mitt Romney’s chief economic adviser. “I find it very disturbing that the media is giving equal time to some ideas that are just crazy.”
So Hubbard is saying–and Keller appears to agree–that any economist who wants to abolish the Federal Reserve Board is not taken seriously. Furthermore, Hubbard says that someone who thinks that–and, again, Keller seems to agree–is crazy.
Later in the piece, Keller writes:
Of course, there have always been economists who leaned right or left — and some outright snake-oil salesmen — but until recently the public debate about economics pretty much stayed within the boundaries of accepted science. Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman have become conservative icons, John Maynard Keynes and Paul Samuelson are stalwarts of the liberals, but in their lifetimes they all had a reverence for evidence (even if their acolytes did not).
So Keller is saying that Hayek and Friedman are taken seriously and are not crazy, right? Do you see his problem?
For a partial hint, watch this.
HT to Don Boudreaux.