I’ve been reading about how horrible Google’s Gemini is and I thought it would be just as horrible in evaluating me.

Here’s how it did.

First, I asked it to give an appreciation of David R. Henderson. That was to bias it on purpose to being positive. That way, if it weren’t at all positive and were completely negative, that would tell me a lot. Here’s what it said:

David R. Henderson is a prominent figure in the world of economics, recognized for his contributions as an educator, author, and policy expert.

A Champion of Clear Communication: Henderson’s dedication to making economics accessible to the public is commendable. Through his writings and co-authored books like “The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics,” he simplifies complex economic concepts for the layperson. This focus on clarity has earned him recognition as a skilled communicator, evident in his articles published in renowned outlets like The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.

A Voice for Freedom and Free Markets: A cornerstone of Henderson’s work is his advocacy for free markets and individual liberty. He argues that these principles not only foster economic prosperity but also empower individuals to make choices that benefit them and society. His belief in the power of free markets shines through in his various roles, including his time on President Reagan’s Council of Economic Advisers.

A Prolific Contributor: Beyond his academic pursuits, Henderson actively engages in public discourse through his blog, EconLog, and his contributions to various publications. This dedication to sharing his knowledge and engaging in dialogue further amplifies his impact on the field of economics.

A Legacy of Impact: In conclusion, David R. Henderson’s contributions as an economist, author, and educator are noteworthy. He has made significant strides in simplifying economic ideas for the public, championed the values of freedom and free markets, and actively participated in public discourse. His dedication to these endeavors has undoubtedly left a lasting impact on the economic landscape.

It is important to note that, as with any public figure, Henderson’s views on economic and political issues may not be universally agreed upon. However, his commitment to clear communication, intellectual engagement, and promoting his perspectives on economic policy deserve recognition.

I was pleasantly surprised by just how positive it was. I’ll forgive the “advocacy for” as if free markets are a being, rather than the correct “advocacy of.”

Then I got mischievous and asked it who is the better economist: Paul Krugman or David R. Henderson. It answered:

It’s not appropriate to definitively declare one economist “better” than another, as both Paul Krugman and David R. Henderson have made significant contributions to the field and hold vastly different perspectives. Here’s why evaluating them solely on “better” is challenging:

Different Schools of Thought: They belong to distinct economic schools with contrasting views on the role of government intervention in the economy. Krugman leans towards Keynesian economics, advocating for government intervention through fiscal and monetary policies to address market failures and economic downturns. Henderson, on the other hand, aligns more closely with Austrian economics, favoring free markets and minimal government intervention.

Evaluating “Better” is Subjective: Determining who’s “better” depends on individual values and preferred economic outcomes. Those who favor government intervention during recessions might favor Krugman’s theories, while those who prioritize free markets might lean towards Henderson’s ideas.

Focus and Achievements: Both have accomplished significant feats. Krugman, who won the 2008 Nobel Prize in Economics, has contributed extensively to international trade theory and new economic geography. Henderson, through his blog and writings, has significantly impacted public understanding of economic principles.

Instead of focusing on who’s “better,” it’s more productive to understand their different perspectives and contributions. Studying the arguments and research of both can provide a more comprehensive understanding of economic issues and enable individuals to form informed opinions based on their own values and critical thinking.

This shouldn’t have been surprising. It hates to make evaluations. I think Krugman is clearly the better technical economist, but I also think he often fails to apply economics.

Finally, I went for the more-neutral “Evaluate David R. Henderson as an economist and got this:

Evaluating David R. Henderson as an economist requires understanding his core beliefs, his strengths, and the potential criticisms of his work.

Core Beliefs:

  • Free Markets: Henderson strongly advocates for free markets, believing they lead to the most efficient allocation of resources and economic prosperity. He is critical of excessive government intervention and regulations.
  • Limited Government: He argues for a limited role of government in the economy, focusing on core functions like providing public goods and upholding the rule of law.
  • Individual Choice: Henderson emphasizes the power of individual choice and decision-making within a free market system. He believes people are best equipped to make choices that benefit themselves and society.


  • Clarity of Thought and Communication: Henderson is lauded for his ability to make complex economic concepts understandable for the general public. His writings and lectures are known for their clear and concise language.
  • Strong Theoretical Foundations: His work rests upon solid economic theory, particularly that of the Austrian School of economics.
  • Intellectual Rigor: Henderson’s arguments demonstrate intellectual rigor and a thorough understanding of economic principles.

** Criticisms:**

  • Idealization of Markets: Critics may argue that Henderson sometimes idealizes the function of free markets and underestimates the potential for market failures, such as monopolies or externalities.
  • Disregard for Inequality: Some critics feel Henderson’s emphasis on free markets overlooks the potential for economic inequality and the need for social safety nets.
  • Underestimation of Government Role: Others may contend that Henderson underestimates the positive role government intervention can play in addressing market failures, providing essential services, and protecting consumers or the environment.

Overall Assessment

David R. Henderson is a significant figure in contemporary economics. His clear communication skills and his emphasis on individual liberty and free markets make him a strong proponent of a particular worldview. While his work is intellectually rigorous, his perspectives can be seen as aligned with a specific economic ideology, with corresponding potential limitations.

To have a balanced understanding of economics, it’s valuable to consider Henderson’s ideas alongside different schools of economic thought and alternative perspectives.

I don’t know how it came up with the Austrian School identifier. Of course, I like Hayek’s work on information and socialism, Mises’ work on pretty much everthing, and Menger’s earlier work. But I also like much of Paul Samuelson’s work and almost all of Milton Friedman’s work. I’ve always thought it was a bad idea to identify with a particular school because various schools of thought have had important insights.