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How to Debate Paul Krugman: "Ask Questions Like a Child"

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Published : January 30th, 2013
438 words - Reading time : 1 - 1 minutes
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Category : Opinions and Analysis

I received an interesting email the other day on debating Paul Krugman. I did a search on the topic and found a post with that exact name: How to debate Paul Krugman

Paul Krugman is the high priest of Keynesianism and modern interventionism, of economic improvement through inflation and budget deficits. As such he is bête noir among us libertarians and Austrian School economists. What makes him so annoying is his unquestioning, reflexive and almost childlike enthusiasm for state intervention, even in the face of its obvious failure, and his apparent unwillingness to probe any deeper into the real causes of our present economic problems or to show any willingness to investigate the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of his particular medicine. His Keynesian convictions are presented as articles of faith that no intelligent person can seriously question. A Krugmanesque argument is always built on a number of assumptions that are beyond doubt: ....
On and On

The above article goes on and on. Moreover, it appears to be 100% accurate. Unfortunately, it's not the correct way to debate Paul Krugman at all.

Economist Hans Hermann-Hoppe explains the Right Way To Debate Paul Krugman in the following video.

The video is a mere 63 seconds long. Here is the key snip.

"It is very important in replies to people like Paul Krugman, that we don't get involved in technical details. Ask some questions almost like a child. Explain to me how increases in paper pieces can possibly make a society richer. If that were the case, explain to me why is there still poverty in the world? Isn't every central bank in the world capable of printing as much paper as they want? I am sure the guy cannot answer this type of question. Nobody can answer this type of question. We always get bogged down in technical details of his argument instead of always repeating this question: Please explain to me how a piece of paper can make society richer."

Would that work?

Krugman would respond with incomprehensible gibberish "for wonks only" as well as typical Keynesian nonsense about how paying people to dig holes and other people to fill them up would start a chain reaction of growth.

A child would see the answer was preposterous, but not a trained economist, politician, or brainwashed academic. Paul Krugman, keynesian economists in general, politicians wanting a free lunch, and most academics are all incurable.

Nonetheless, Hans Hermann-Hoppe's answer is indeed the correct one. By asking questions a child will understand, some non-brainwashed people will see Keynesian and Monetary stimulus for what they really are: economic stupidity.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock
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Mish 13 abonnés
Mike Shedlock / Mish is a registered investment advisor representative for SitkaPacific Capital Management. He writes a global economics blog which has commentary 5-7 times a week. He also writes for the Daily Reckoning, Whiskey & Gunpowder, and has over 80 magazine and book cover credits. Visit
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