Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Monday, October 13, 2008

Chicago Boyz and Girlz

Congratulations to Paul Krugman, Nobel prize winner! (Yes I still disagree about the bailout.)

Besides the pleasure of seeing a sane man praised and vindicated, there is the pleasure of seeing the not-so-sane debunked. Moon Of Alabama says:

After years of favoring 'Chicago economists', who laid the grounds for the
current disaster, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences finally seems to change
Signs of the times?

And the sign says "Dead End."

Who could have imagined that Wall Street, of all places, could be overcome by greed and love of money and power? That the invisible hand of the market was really the imaginary hand of the market? That Megan McArdle, graduate of the Universiy of Chicago and fervent booster of Milton Friedman, could be--gasp!--wrong?

You can thank Milton Friedman for the fact that our central banks no longer
hand us double-digit inflation in a fruitless quest for permanently higher
output levels. While his work has since been refined, and his push for quantity
targeting has largely been abandoned, he remains central to modern monetary
policy. His permanent income hypothesis has made similar contributions to
consumption theory. His students have also expanded the boundaries of human
knowlege in significant ways, particularly Gary Becker, another Nobel-prize

Unlike other popularisers, such as Paul Krugman, whose best popular work
(such as Pop Internationalism) focused on his own field, what Mr Friedman is
known for within the academy is completely different from what has made him
famous outside it, which is possibly why liberals tend to classify him with Mr
Galbraith. Mr Friedman has done more than possibly any other economist to
advance the cause of free markets. But that is not his only contribution;
perhaps it is not even his largest. Anyone who would compare the Nobel
prize-winner to JKG as an economist can only have a gaping hole in their
economic education.

I just thought it would be funny to reprint that.


When over 100 University of Chicago professors revolted at the idea of a Milton Friedman Institute on campus, McArdle wrote:

Over 100 Chicago professors proudly sign
a letter
declaring their ignorance of economics:


[letter] from a University that has cultivated a reputation as one of the most
intellectually rigorous campuses in the country. I'm tempted to weep.


[...T]heir assessment of the effects of the "neoliberal global order"
is forehead slapping, head shaking, did-they-really-say that? stupid.


The last paragraph makes these eminent professors seem, to
put it charitably, not quite bright.


It's foolish to get
enraged at these powerless twits. But someone has to writhe in shame at this
folly, and clearly, their intellects aren't up to the task.

There's lots more, and it's great to read. McArdle's so much fun when she actually gets passionate about something, such as her reputation or status. First Bush, then Greenspan, and now Freidman et al. I don't know how history will assess these events, but right now McArdle might want to take the sage advice of one George Costanza: If you have an impulse, do and say the opposite of what you would usually do.


Righteous Bubba said...


Susan of Texas said...

Crap. Now I'm very glad I didn't make fun of her bad editing.

Which was bad.