Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Lars Chistensen Writes Post About Me

      Wow! This is too much now. During the time since we started in June, 2011 we have had any number of milestones. There was the time Nick Rowe answered my post.

      There was the time Brad Delong put my post about Nick Rowe answering my previous cost on his twitterstorm-heady times.

       What particularly impressed Brad was my ability to get the words "Nick Rowe" and "Snooki" into the same post, much less sentence.

      There was the time Sumner's mentor George Selgin checked in. The time Mr. MMT Scott Fullwiler checked in. There have been many watershed momments for us here at Diary of a Republican Hater in our short time on the air so to speak.

      However, Lars Christensen provided us with another unprecedented high water mark yesterday by being so good as to write a post in answer to a previous post I had written about him and Market Monetarism.

      When I read the title of Christensen's post today, "Christensen's "Postmodernist mind fuck" I did a double take then realized he was actually referring to the above link. Those at one point were my exact words-yet at first I didn't recognize them to I read the long quote of me.

      "I have now been blogging since early October last year and I truly enjoy it. Most of my readers seem to be happy about what I write and I believe that most of my readers and commentators are quite Market Monetarist sympathies. However, there is one exception – lefty blogger Mike Sax. Yes, I called him lefty – I don’t think Mike would not disagree with this (if he called me a libertarian that would not make me angry either…). Mike is actually reading the Market Monetarist blogs and I think he pretty much understands what we are talking about. I will readily acknowledge that despite the fact that I probably disagree with 99% of what he has to say about economics and monetary theory."

      "Today I ran into a comment Mike wrote a couple a days ago about the debate about fiscal policy between on the one side the New Keynesian (Old Keynesians??) and on the other side the Market Monetarists  (and John Cochrane). Even though Mike is extremely critical of  my views I actually had quite a lot of fun reading it."

     He then quotes a long passage I wrote. The postmodern mindfuck line:

     "During the interminable tangent-a rather amusing three ring circus that Sumner led-Lars wrote a post called “There is no such thing as fiscal policy.” This is a pretty radical attack on fiscal policy. From Cochrane claiming that fiscal policy can’t work-till his bout face today-and Sumner saying it can never be as effective as monetary policy in reviving demand-we have Lars claiming it simply doesn’t exist."

    "Whoa! I guess if it doesn’t even exist we can’t use it. Ever. It’s another postmodernist mind fuck evidently. What are Cochrane and Christensen going to say to each other now? I will suggest that if you want to make any sense of market monetarism read Lars. You get it much more concisely and to the point if nothing else."

     So to me this is pretty cool. He spelt my name right-not that it's hard. I don't agree with him but I find his blog to be a learning experience. He did hower close with this comment,

     "Frankly speaking, Mike of course have no clue about economics, but he is 100% right – I should of course have said that there is no such thing as fiscal stimulus (and not policy), but then he would have had nothing to write about. Mike don’t know this, but I hate everything “postmodernist” so he succeed with his low blow."

    Low blow? I thought it was more of a "humorous quip" good enough for him to put it in the title. I thought claiming that I have no clue about economics is a much lower blow. It was he who had said,

    "Mike is actually reading the Market Monetarist blogs and I think he pretty much understands what we are talking about. I will readily acknowledge that despite the fact that I probably disagree with 99% of what he has to say about economics and monetary theory."

     If he admits that I do read his blog and I pretty much understand it-Sumner's move is to always claim that you could not have read him, that you read maybe one sentence and gave in to your Keynesian prejudices or whatever-how can he claim I am clueless about economics? I left him a comment,

    "See I was liking you Lars till that last line. But that makes you sound so Sumner-like. You know condescending, dismissive of anyone outside the (Chicago) Groves of Academe."

    The point of his post was in the next-and last paragraph:

    "Anyway, let me say it again fiscal policy is not important. People like Paul Krugman (and Mike Sax) think that we need massive fiscal stimulus to take us out of the slump in Europe and the US and some think (for example European policy makers) think that the only solution is fiscal austerity. I think both parties are wrong – lets fix monetary policy and then we don’t have to worry (too much) about fiscal policy (other than balancing the government budgets in the medium to long run…). This is why I find it so utterly borrowing to discuss fiscal policy…"

    If he finds it boring he knows who to discuss that with-his buddy Scott Sumner. As for me and Krugman-happy to be put in his class-thinking we need massive fiscal stimulus, I don't rule out monetary policy but in any case we are getting neither. It is his buddy Scott who lately has been making attacks on fiscal stimulus more important than any other issue and has escalated this-possibly needless war of words particularly for the MMers who hope to "co-opt" us Keynesians.

   Krugman, Delong, Romer, at al, all said, "Sure, NGDP. It's worth a shot." Sumner is pushing through an open door.




  1. Mike, you are welcome...good fun.

    Now you just need to have a look at my favourite Japanese movie...

    And ok, I admit it - you have a clue about economics...

  2. Mike,
    I've been lurking regularly. I don't comment much. I'm prone to violating the "Abraham Lincoln" rule when I do. I don't know much about economics, which puts me squarely in the class of the "freshwater" school. Fiscal policy isn't important? (Not your argument.) Just look at the wonders fiscal policy of the austerity version is having on the UK.

  3. Ok. Let's watch Battle Royale! Even though I'm broke it's on me as I'm in a good moood after that post-LOL

  4. Ok Nanute. I appreciate your lurking. Yes UK austerity cinches it for them. Let me know if you're in my neck of the woods.

    Checking in now and again even if to say "How about those Giants" is always appreciated. Actually how about those Giants?!!

  5. I'll be watching intently on Sunday. Go BLUE!!!

  6. PS. Will give you a heads up next time I'm out your way.