On Brad DeLong’s website, I posted what I thought was a polite comment in response to his attack on people who disagree with his socialist ideas. Here is a snippet of his attack:
Other ethics-free Republican hacks, whose organizations share in their burning of their own credibility:
Steven Horwitz, Charles A. Dana Professor of Economics, St. Lawrence University: “The stimulus plans assume consumption is the source of economic growth. It is not. It is the consequence of said growth. The ‘stimulus’ is a redistribution of spending, at best, and will do little to help. The next Administration should avoid large scale programs and experimentation and allow the marketplace to correct the errors made by the last 8 years of misguided intervention.”
Stacie Beck, Professor, University of Delaware: “A spending stimulus will only delay the needed restructuring of the U.S. economy to remain internationally competitive. Tax cuts will facilitate that restructuring far better than spending and job creation by the government.”
Read the whole thing. You decide how quotes like the two I pulled above are evidence of “hackery” or “Republicanism.” Does DeLong even know who some of these people are? Horwitz is the furthest I know from a right-wing Republican. That aside, the issue here is that DeLong thinks anyone who doubts the sensibility of hard core Keynesian demand stimulus right now is an economic hack. The evidence is not exactly on his side.
My comment was not even related to his ad hominem attacks, it simply went something like this:
“Would we support the idea of fiscal stimulus if we were able to discern a priori that the recent reduction in aggregate demand throughout the U.S. was desired? In other words, if all Americans paid heed to the alarms of consumerism and global warming and decided that to be happy they wanted to consume and produce less, would we still be pushing for such a stimulus?”
… and that, my friends, must be partisan, right-wing, Republican, economic hackery to even suggest as a question.