Thursday, January 17, 2013

What It Is Like to Take a College Course from Paul Krugman

Politico reports in on Congressman Thomas Massie (R-KY)
Massie’s work as an engineer and inventor could help explain his obsessive attention to detail: He holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from MIT in engineering.

He grew up in a conservative community but didn’t become political until arriving in Cambridge, even once taking a macroeconomics class from liberal economist Paul Krugman. 
“It was a very frustrating class. Although he used equations to describe his solutions, he never really solved his equations. We were asked to believe certain fundamental principles that couldn’t be proven,” he said. “It was more of a religion class than a science class.”

(ht John Dunvan)

11 comments:

  1. Wow, I wonder if Massie has any idea how closely some of his ideas resemble Austrian apologetics.

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  2. “It was more of a religion class than a science class.”

    More importantly, even if Krugman had "solved" what ever equations he was presenting, it still would not be a science class. Presenting modern economic theory as science is probably the greatest fraud of the last hundred years. The fact that its considered acceptable to use the adjective "liberal" to describe ones economic thinking, should be proof enough.

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    1. Actually if anything he was referring to the extremely ad-hoc characteristics of the "IS/LM" model that Krugman always brags about teaching to grad students. However, congratulations on outing yourself as one of the many innumerate morons who has not, ever, actually say down and read an article of the Quarterly Journal of Economics but feels qualified to pull garbage out of their ass about how "economics isn't science." Perhaps depressingly, your own uninformed dogma turns you into a hypocritical little troll.

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  3. What a great quote! I hope it goes viral. So maybe this guy gets it?

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  4. So far Massie hasn't been a screw up like Amash, Ted Cruz, Rand, etc. This is the only ron paul endorsed guy for the congress that hasn't pissed me off yet. I love how he accurately summed up krugman's bs equations, too.

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    1. Well, i don't know exactly what it means, but in the March issue of Reason Magazine in an interview with Ron Paul follower Bryan Doherty, Massie says he doesn't want Ron Paul's mantle.

      We'll see if he's an exception to the Amash/Cruz/Rand rule, but i'm not putting my hopes up.

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    2. Yeah, I am not getting my hopes up either. But so far his votes have been good. The fact that when he was sworn in Ron Paul gave him a hug can't be a bad sign either. Maybe he just knows it is impossible for anyone in american history to live up to the Ron Paul mantle. Amash actually told people he did want to live up to it, and we see the kind of dumb shit he has been doing in the last couple weeks. Massie has done none of that so far. The fact that he is in a rural KY district also makes it a lot easier for him to do things like vote against the NDAA and Iran sanctions and Boner as speaker.

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  5. As much as I dislike Krugman, the comparison between religion and economics isn't exclusive to his ilk. I've seen the claim thrown around to Chicagoites and Austrians alike. Some people just hate economics.

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  6. In the financial markets a lot of quants are former engineers. I always ask these guys, would you try to rely on non-constant correlations in your engineering (civil, mechanical, etc)? They would all answer no and say they were just doing financial engineering because it merely paid more.

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  7. I often wonder how modern-day Keynesian econometricians reconcile the fact that they are utilizing the wrong methodology in their mathematical treatment of economics. After all, Keynes himself noted:

    "Too large a proportion of recent "mathematical" economics are mere concoctions, as imprecise as the initial assumptions they rest on, which allow the author to lose sight of the complexities and interdependencies of the real world in a maze of pretentious and unhelpful symbols."


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  8. 'Economic equations' is an oxymoron. They are circular. There are no dependent and independent variables. There are no orthogonal dimensions in their pseudo-Hilbert space. At best they describe correlations.

    Eventually avatar based Monte Carlo simulations will yield useful results, but even then 'scientific methods' of analysis are impossible because there is no way to 're-run the experiment' using the same initial conditions.

    The fact that the 'algos' are trained artificial neural nets should be all the proof anyone needs that there is no science in economics.

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