Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Bruce Bartlett: Won’t Somebody Please Love Me?

Tom Woods writes:

Poor Bruce Bartlett. He’s spent his career trying to be loved, and it just ain’t happening. First he was a Ron Paulian. Then he realized his career would be better served by jumping on the supply-side train. Then he ditched that to jump onto (yes) the Obama train. He was received with yawns instead of huzzahs.
Read an awesome exchange between Tom and Bartlett, plus the scoop on the Bartlett-Murphy controversy, here.


  1. Poor Keynesians.....seems they're having their asses handed to them left and right everywhere one looks nowadays.....golden....

    And I wouldn't know anything about what it means to be published in a peer-reviewed economics journal, but I do know that in some other scientific disciplines there is a phenomenon called "publish or perish", which essentially means that if one wants to get grant monies, etc., one better get published....or else.

    I believe it is quite possible that there is a perverse incentive at work in an arrangement such as this.

    That is, to compromise ones findings, writings, etc., so Bartlett's unimpressive bragging re: peer review's is not a very strong argument if this perverse incentive exists within the economic community as well.

    Does anyone know if this is the case?

  2. Larry, that same "publish (what is accepted by the people who give grants) or perish" (don't get tenure or published in the future) mindset is why Anthropogenic Global Warming- which any ignorant but inquisitive undergrad can see is based on faulty data that ignores contrary sources- has become "the accepted and received wisdom" over the last 25 years.

    In the late 70s numerous influential "pop culture" magazines ran cover stories about the imminent disaster of "Global Cooling" and the effects on the future of mankind. Once the planet started warming in the 80s, the switch was made to "Global Warming" until the moderation of the mid-2000s when it became "Climate Change".

    But, try to get a paper published, or get funding for a project, that seeks to prove that the earth is cooling (or worse, a self-regulating complex system dependent on solar cycles) and see how far you get while flipping burgers.

    Government control of "higher education" has resulted in intellectual(sic) sophistry that would make the accusers of Galileo, the "flat-earthers", and the high priests of phrenology blush with embarrassment.

  3. I had forgotten about that brawl... Good times, good times. From a commenter at Tom's blog:

    Two of [Bartlett's] books are:

    The New American Economy: The Failure of
    Reaganomics and a New Way Forward (2009)


    Impostor: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America
    and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy (2006).

    Does that mean that Bush was good because he
    "betrayed" a failed idea?

  4. He wants to be in the slavemaster class and will say anything to support the political terrorists. Note how these economist goofs are all now rushing to the side of the State. The total-state tyranny is coming soon.

  5. Thanks RDF, I was aware of that but do appreciate the point being reiterated.

    I was just struck (sort of. lol!) by Bartlett's weak argument for the superiority of being published in peer-reviewed journals when this is clearly not necessarily the case.

    Aside from the argument from authority he employs, it seems to me he was simply throwing things at the wall to see what would stick with Tom Woods.....and we see how THAT turned out.

    Thanks again.