Too Obvious to be True?

Brett Barkely writing in Econ Journal Watch:

Large budget deficits represent a burden on the future, and debt accumulation eventually poses great problems. Economists writing for the public can either highlight such truths, neglect the issue, or try to allay worries or excuse or justify large budget deficits (as anti-recession policy, for example). Economists affiliated or aligned with one of the parties may be suspected of changing their positions on budgets deficits to serve their favored party or win favor with its constituency. This paper investigates selected economists, to see whether their tune changes when the party holding the White House changes. Six economists are found to change their tune—Paul Krugman in a significant way, Alan Blinder in a moderate way, and Martin Feldstein, Murray Weidenbaum, Paul Samuelson, and Robert Solow in a minor way—while eleven are found to be fairly consistent.

But at least he provides a moment of righteous indignation.  We all need that from time to time.

Another article in the same issue argues that “economic enlightenment” is not correlated with education.  Conservatives and libertarians are much more enlightened according to the study (though the definition of enlightenment is pretty much: are you conservative or libertarian?– not that there is anything wrong with that), but within each ideological group the education effects are flat.  Sorta interesting.  Also, regular WalMart shoppers and Nascar fans are more enlightened than the comparison groups.  Seriously, I’m not making this up (though I am wondering if this issue of the journal was written by the Onion Staff).

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