Thursday, December 4, 2008

Bob Murphy Comment Is "Disappeared" from Brad Delong Site

Brad DeLong has some pretty nasty things to say about what he thinks is Ludwig von Mises' Theory of Money and Credit (TMC).

I say what he thinks is Mises' TMC, since as David Gordon points out in a comment at DeLong's blog, DeLong's quotations are all "from the Appendix, 'Planned Chaos', written in 1944." TMC was originally published in German as Theorie des Geldes und der Umlaufsmittel in 1912.It was then published in the United States in an English version in 1934.

That DeLong mixes this up does not surprise me.

My blood pressure has never gotten excited over Brad DeLong comments about books, especially after reading, last year, his laughable review for the Los Angeles Times of Alan Greenspan's book The Age of Turbulence.

After reading DeLong's review of Turbulence, I thought to myself, "this dude doesn't sound like he read the book."

In the Turbulence review he tells us that

"The Age of Turbulence" is three books in one.
What does he say about book 2? That he is going to give his students a quiz about it. That's it, I kid you not:

The second book gives Greenspan's view of the world and is, I think, least successful. He is trying to convey complicated and subtle technocratic ideas about the global economy -- its current structure and how it functions -- in a way that is comprehensible to general readers whose purchases drive bestseller lists. My students will read it because it will be on the midterm. But the book's target audience is likely to find this world tour a slog, and they are not incentivized by midterms.
I ask you? Would you need to read a book to write this kind of nonsense?

It's the same for what he identifies as book 3:

The third book -- Greenspan's account of public policy -- is making the biggest splash as news. But it is news only in a very peculiar sense. That Greenspan and other committed small-government Republicans have been horrified at the turn their party has taken and have desperately sought some way to take it back from the cynical media consultants and political hacks who now run things is well-known -- to readers of Ron Suskind's "The Price of Loyalty" and Bruce Bartlett's "Imposter" and a host of people who know people who know Bush administration undersecretaries. Greenspan's much-quoted judgment in the book -- that current Republican office holders "deserve to lose" elections because they sold their principles for power and "ended up with neither" -- should come as no secret. Yet stories over the last few days have breathlessly reported selected phrases from the new book, characterizing them, as the Washington Post's Bob Woodward did, as "unusually harsh criticism [of] President Bush and the Republican Party" for abandoning "the central conservative principle of fiscal restraint."
Oh yeah, Delong read this book before he reviewed it.

Dear reader, from Delong's "review" what exactly has he said specifically about what he identifies as book 2 and book 3 (note: he does say a bit more about book3)?

At least, for book 1, he pretends to have read the book and pulls some quotes out that it appears he has skimmed from the book. I say skimmed since he misses all of the most significant Greenspan comments.

So it is with this background that my blood pressure did not go over the top when Delong's "analysis" of Mises book was that is a:
readable in a rhetorical-excess-train-wreck mode, for it is also totally bats--- insane.

I just thought that DeLong reads everything in a train-wreck mode. It's his typical modus operandi. Why, he must rhetorically think, should he actually reasonably read and debate anything, when he can spin off nonsense that he has readers for, that will apparently gobble it all up?

But heaven forbid that somebody call him on his nonsense, as Bob Murphy did.

What does Delong the scholar with the unusual book review style do when a reasonale attempt is made to debate his statements? Why he erases Murphy's well reasoned comment and announces on his blog:

OK. Time to cut this off and prune it down to something useful..
And Murphy's comment is disappeared! Poof, bam gone.

Seven minutes later, the Great Reviewer Delong writes:

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