12 thoughts on “Consistent Thinkers Meet at the Hoover Institution”

  1. erm, did you really mean to point that link to The Onion?

    It’s pretty good though, as far as Onion pieces go. I had a good laugh.

  2. “In sum there was considerable agreement that (1) policy uncertainty was a major problem in the slow recovery, (2) short run stimulus packages were not the answer going forward, and (3) policy reforms that would normally be considered helpful in the long run would actually be very helpful right now in the short run.”

    …and (4) if you speakers to a conference based on their opinions, they tend to have similar opinions.

  3. Matt, you must like rhetorical abuse. Clearly those people are high. Phoning it in. Preaching to the choir.

    And I don’t care if they’re “good at math.”

  4. Sounds like a living history event; nice to see that these fine folks are offering an alternative to Civil War reenactments this year.

  5. Alan Greenspan at the head of the pack says it all. His cult leader, Ayn Rand was crazy as a bed bug and anyone who would associate with, much less follow her must by stupid or mad.

    Last night I saw “Inside Job”. As the banksters churned up the tsunami that was about to take down the world economy the story kept returning to Alan Greenspan smiling his tired smile and say again and again that he couldn’t see any problem. One man told how he went over a typical mortgage document and Mr. Greenspan admited that even a doctorate in mathematics would not prepare anyone to determine what was in their best interest. The man said at that point he thought Greenspan was going to act but as the conversation proceded he realised that it was not so.

  6. The prostitution of elite econowhoredom no longer surprises me; but the shamelessness never ceases to amaze me. And reinforces in my mind:

    University of Chicago delenda est.

  7. No, I was not invited, even though I have a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and an office about a block away from Hoover. Why wasn’t I invited? Obviously because I am an historian, not an economist, and equally obviously because I don’t play for Team Republican. But beyond that, I’m afraid that I really don’t understand what Matthew Kahn (Khaaaannnn!) is trying to accomplish with this post. Is he, in fact, saying that these thinkers are consistent? Is this supposed to be damning with faint praise? Is it a backhanded insult to call someone consistent, “consistency-is-the-hobgoblin-of-little-minds”-style? Is his point that these same people would have told you more or less the same thing ten years ago, or twenty years ago, that circumstances will have no bearing on their thinking, like the geometry student who thinks that a squared plus b squared equals c squared is an immutable law, rather than something that applies only to two legs and the hypotenuse of right triangles? Because if so, it would be a lot more interesting to see him make that case explicitly. Alternatively, maybe this link constitutes an endorsement, something that we’re supposed to use to educate ourselves about the world. And that would be strange, because if it does that, it seems to me that it does so more by revealing the propaganda function of certain academics than by the supposedly brave and truth-telling thinking on display there.

    I have read the RBC for years now, and the thing that I have liked about it is the way that it brings public policy expertise to the Issues Of The Day. Let me just say politely that I don’t think that is happening in this instance. Noah Smith is doing it by pointing out that John Taylor’s summary of the event isn’t even an accurate summary of conference proceedings. (http://noahpinionblog.blogspot.com/2011/12/hoover-institute-recommends-hooverite.html, now linked to be Krugman and others: http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/07/taylor-rules/). I don’t think that Matthew Kahn plays for Team Republican, but he has shown a difficult-to-understand tendency to take seriously those who do. More value-added, please, Mr. Economist.

  8. I don’t think that Matthew Kahn plays for Team Republican, but he has shown a difficult-to-understand tendency to take seriously those who do. More value-added, please, Mr. Economist.

    Indeed. Republican or Democrat, it’d be nice if Kahn would actually offer some evidence that he’s given serious thought to the issues that he raises – or that he even recognizes what those issues are. Krugman’s response seems unassailable (and rather obvious), but if there’s a counter-argument, Kahn won’t tell us.

  9. “Tax reform, entitlement reform, monetary reform, and K-12 education reform were at the top of [Schultz’s] pro-growth policy list.” Which is precisely Obama’s list with the exception of monetary reform, perhaps.

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