O Intermitente<br> (So long, farewell, auf weidersehen, good-bye)

O Intermitente
(So long, farewell, auf weidersehen, good-bye)

quarta-feira, outubro 08, 2003

Kling vs. Krugman

Arnold Kling (responsável pelo Econ Log) escreve uma carta aberta a Paul Krugman na qual põe em causa o tipo de argumentação que o conhecido Professor de Economia utiliza para refutar os argumentos contrários na sua coluna do New York Times.

Kling classifica os argumentos que se podem utilizar numa discussão em duas classes. O tipo C - refutação baseada nas possíveis consequências de uma medida particular; e tipo M - refutação dos argumentos baseada nos motivos pessoais do proponente e conclui que Krugman utiliza invariavelmente os do tipo M.

Paul, your columns consist primarily of type M arguments. Either you do not see the difference between type C arguments and type M arguments, or you do not care.

I am not going to try to guess your motives for relying on type M arguments. However, I can tell you some of the consequences.

One consequence is to lower the level of political discourse in general. You have a lot of influence with those who sympathize with your views. When they see you adopt type M arguments, they do the same.

Conversely, many of your opponents are stooping to your level. I see type M arguments raised by many of your enemies on the Right. As horse manure draws flies, your columns generate opposition that is vindictive and uninformed.

Another consequence is to lower the prestige and impact of economists. We are trained to make type C arguments. Instead, you are teaching by example that making speculative assessments of one's opponent's motives is more important than thinking through the consequences of policy options. If everyone were to use such speculative assessments as the basis for forming their opinions, then there would be no room for economics in public policy discussions.

You could express your point of view using type C arguments and still take strong stands for what you believe is right. In fact, you might find that doing so would make you more effective. Even if that is not the case, even if there is a sort of media version of Gresham's Law in which specious reasoning drives out careful analysis, then that is a challenge for all of us who are trained as economists. I believe that we have a professional duty to try to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

posted by Miguel Noronha 2:21 da tarde

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"A society that does not recognize that each individual has values of his own which he is entitled to follow can have no respect for the dignity of the individual and cannot really know freedom."

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