I know the Right wing blogs are all up in arms about Krugman's failure to express great admiration for Cochrane before criticizing him. Sumner really butteted up the Keynesians recently in his post "Why I Hate Keynesian Talk."
Listen to how Cochrane speaks of Krugman. "I usually don't respond to Paul Krugman's blog posts."
Not at all dismissive. The Right wing blogs clearly don't commit the sins of Krugman when they speak of Keynesianism. Certainly not Sumner.
Looking through Cochrane's archives-figure I should learn from him how to be fair to those one disagrees with, I come across this paper he wrote in answer to petitioners at the University of Chicago who were arguing against opening a Milton Friedman Institute.
It's understandable that a Cochran would bu unhappy with this. And it does seem rather counter intuitive-after all this is the University of Chicago. I mean if it weren't for Milton Friedman would we have heard of the place at all?
Still, we know that the Right wing economists-Krugman calls them the freshwater guys-don't sink to Krugman's level ever. Let's have Kantoos remind us of Krugman's bad manners:
"in early 2009, when I read John Cochrane’s piece on fiscal stimulus . It is a little convoluted, unfortunately, but an interesting read nonetheless. I would have loved to read a proper response by Paul or Brad DeLong, but only found unjustified rants that had little to do with John’s arguments – if you actually read the whole piece."
Tyler Cowen too complains that Krugman doesn't do a better job of making the best case for the other side in policy debates.
So even while Cochrane is replying to people that have got his gander-attacking Milton Friedman's legacy we wouldn't expect him to engage in unjustified rants that had little do with their arguments. First their petition:
"Many colleagues are distressed by the notoriety of the Chicago School of Economics, especially throughout much of the global south, where they have often to defend the University’s reputation in the face of its negative image. The effects of the neoliberal global order that has been put in place in recent decades, strongly buttressed by the Chicago School of Economics, have by no means been unequivocally positive. Many would argue that they have been negative for much of the world's population, leading to the weakening of a number of struggling local economies in the service of globalized capital, and many would question the substitution of monetization for democratization under the banner of “market democracy.”
Obviously Cochrane is not a fan of such sentiments. But remember the rule is to make the best case for the other guy's ideas-we have the Taylor Rule now we have the Tyler Rule. Let's see Cochrane offering fair mined yet relevant criticism-as opposed to Krugman who doesn't look at the substance of what was said.
"Yes, there are people left on the planet who write and think this way, and no, I’m not making this up. Let’s read this more closely and try to figure out what it means."
Yes, there are a few people left but after all a few people are not a lot relative to the entire planet. Certainly nothing snarky about that, 'yes there are a few people who question neoliberalism but they all reside under a rock.'
He again quotes them again, “Many colleagues are distressed by the notoriety of the Chicago School of Economics, especially throughout much of the global south, where they have often to defend the University’s reputation in the face of its negative image.”
Evidently with this second look, Mr. Cochrane finally gets it-it didn't seem so hard to understand the first time but then I don't have his schooling.
"If you’re wondering “what’s their objection?”, “how does a MFI hurt them?” you now have the answer. Translated, “when we go to fashionable lefty cocktail parties in Venezuela, it’s embarrassing to admit who signs our paychecks.” Interestingly, the hundred people who signed this didn’t have the guts even to say “we,” referring to some nebulous “they” as the subject of the sentence. Let’s read this literally: “We don’t really mind at all if there’s a MFI on campus, but some of our other colleagues, who are too shy to sign this letter, find it all too embarrassing to admit where they work.” If this is the reason for organizing a big protest perhaps someone has too much time on their hands."
Right. They're just concerned about being embarrassed at a cocktail party. Surely Mr. Cochrane has never been to a cocktal party in his life. I admire his prose here, I mean this is good. We see how to not just fall back on "unjustified rants that had little to do with John’s arguments – if you actually read the whole piece."
Right I mean the relevant crux of the students was cocktail parties as that's what the spoke about in the paragraphy Cochrane quoted. Say this for Cochrane, you can't accuse him of trivializing his oppoents' arguments like the ill-mannered Krugman.
Cochrane is however, confused as to another phrase the students use, "Global south."
"I'll just pick on this one as a stand-in for all the jargon in this letter. What does this oxymoron mean, and why do the letter writers use it? We used to say what we meant, “poor countries. ” That became unfashionable, in part because poverty is sometimes a bit of your own doing and not a state of pure victimhood. So, it became polite to call dysfunctional backwaters “developing.” That was already a lie (or at best highly wishful thinking) since the whole point is that they aren’t developing. But now bien-pensant circles don’t want to endorse “development” as a worthwhile goal anymore. “South” – well, nice places like Australia, New Zealand and Chile are there too (at least from a curiously North-American and European-centric perspective). So now it’s called “global south,” which though rather poor as directions for actually getting anywhere, identifies the speaker as the caring sort of person who always uses the politically correct word. "
Right the phrase Global South is politically correct. The only reason they use this is because the phrase poor countries is now out of fashion "because poverty is sometimes a bit of your own doing and not a state of pure victimhood." Actually one would assume that a Mr. Cochrane presumes that far from being "as state of pure victimhood" he thinks it's a state of pure culpability. Like Herman Cain says if you're not rich it's your own fault. I don't know when Global South replaced poor country but maybe it's because I don't go to cocktail parties-not rich enough which no doubt is all my fault.
He then takes issue with their negative comment on the effects of neoliberalism, that "“Many would argue that they have been negative for much of the world's population... weakening … struggling local economies."
This is too much for Mr. Cochrane. He fires back:
"I can think of lots of words to describe what’s going on in, say, China and India, as well as what happened previously to countries that adopted the “neoliberal global order” like Japan, Hong Kong, and South Korea. Billions of people are leading dramatically freer, healthier, longer and more prosperous lives than they were a generation ago. “Weakening…struggling local economies” is just factually wrong about events on this planet."
Now I see the relevance of the fight over the phrase Global South. To me it seemed like much ado about nothing, that Cochrane was making heavy weather over some very small beer-who really cares if you say "poor countries" or "Global South" as no matter how you slice it, these are very poor countries many which are located in the southern half of the world? Because all the examples he lists as success stories for neoliberalism did not in significant ways follow the neoliberal model.
The countries that did follow it faithfully largely resided in: the same Global South. By editing out this phrase, Cochrane evidently forgot that South America exists at all. Then he would find the "struggling local economies" that he said don't exist on this planet.
Put it this way. The Chicago Boys were not seen in China or India but they were seen up and down South America-they were particularly chummy with Pinochet.
So maybe the phrase Global South is needed for more than simply impressing rich professors like Cochrane at cocktail parties.