Saturday, January 9, 2016

"An Academic With His Head Up His Ass" Responds

Don Boudreaux writes:

Annoyed by my applause for Matthew Slaughter’s essay in today’s Wall Street Journal, a self-described “Trump supporter” wrote today to instruct me on “how foreign trade works in the real world.”  I replied:
Mr. Rob Sawyer
Dear Mr. Sawyer:
You think me to be “unrealistic” for “denying what Donald Trump” and many other politicians and pundits insist is “the ruination of our great country and economy by Chinese currency manipulators.”
I think you to be unrealistic for pronouncing on this matter with what you proudly describe as your “aversion to academic economics.”  Here’s a link to a short essay that I wrote six years ago to explain why Americans have no reason to fear any foreign-government’s currency manipulation.  Please write back – if you can endure writing again to an “academic with his head up his a__” – to inform me where the logic of my argument fails.
Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
Martha and Nelson Getchell Chair for the Study of Free Market Capitalism at the Mercatus Center
George Mason University

The above originally appeared at Cafe Hayek


  1. yeh, well it's easy to see who doesn't get what

    economics - if you think it's a serious science then you've missed the point entirely

    economics is what clever people do to provide "educated" support for whatever crooked schemes the current crop of ruling scum want to undertake

    war - it's always war - it's the best business

    so, if a leader gets up and says "country X is doing Y" then if you can show using squiggles on a white board why it is so then you are a famous economist of merit

    if you don't then you have your head up your arse


    1. Mr. Peake Oil Poet,

      To irrationally follow an incorrect theory - and go so far as adopt it as your blogging name - rings of sheer naivete. Naivete that makes one look like they have their head up their arse.

      I'll give you credit for the accuracy of your third sentence. Except you're not describing the school of economics that Mr. Wenzel and Dr. Boudreaux follow. Keynesian economists, who concoct experiments with their models, try to apply them to the real world, and partner up with the "crop of ruling scum" to adopt so-called policy solutions when their perfect model doesn't describe economic reality - this is in direct contrast to the Austrian school of economics.

      Austrians look to markets and prices to spontaneously order human action in an economy. Absent from this bottom-up approach is "'educated' support" and "crooked schemes" from a central planning committee of economists, bureaucrats, politicians, and central bankers. In fact, it is this intimate relationship that makes war, in your words, "the best business." Without central banks buying debt and literally writing a blank check for governments to finance war (as the Austrians describe), country's credit lines would be eliminated and the war business would be out of business.

      Countries don't act. Individuals do. It just so happens that these individuals reside within arbitrary borders governed by people with a monopoly on force. In their top-down approach and genuflect to the power structure, Keynensian economists may refer to country X as doing Y. With Paul Krugman as the poster boy, in exchange for their support the power structure rewards these economists financially, with Nobel prizes, and Time magazine covers. So applied in this sense, you are correct here - economics isn't a serious science.

      However, do you disagree that work done on markets, prices, entrepreneurship, money, central bank intervention, and business cycles, among others - the work done by Austrian economists - is not serious science? If not, I'd encourage you to read more of Robert's site and check out and