Understanding Paul Krugman on Thomas Piketty


Gentle readers, whenever Paul Krugman issues a defense of Thomas Piketty regarding the charges against the latter, by all means, be sure to read that defense. Be sure to consider its merits seriously. Be sure to closely and carefully examine the data Krugman might present in defense of his point and if Krugman actually makes a good point — or several — in defending Piketty, be gracious enough to acknowledge as much.

But of course, let us all remember that thus far, Krugman has failed to issue a serious and persuasive defense of Piketty’s findings and position in light of the Giles/Giugliano findings. And no matter how overwhelming the case against Piketty may become, Krugman may never be willing to admit that he is simply on the wrong side of this debate.

In the event that Piketty and Krugman both fail to defend Piketty’s findings, and in the event that Krugman refuses to acknowledge an uncomfortable reality, call to your minds, gentle readers, Upton Sinclair’s brilliant observation that “[i]t is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!”

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  1. user_82762 Inactive


    Com’on this is the man made global warming of economics.  Krugman is Michael Mann.  He’ll tell any lie and defend any liar to keep his left wing bubble afloat.

    Piketty has done us a favor.  He has provided the hockey stick claim that is testable.  Through the process of critique the lies are revealed as well as the liars.



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  2. user_961 Member

    Tyler Cowan seems to me to have the best perspective on this, and Scott Winship believes that it is less a scandal than a screwup, akin more to the Reinhart-Rogoff affair, where the errors in the analysis did not completely negate the thesis.

    The problem is Piketty’s basic assumption less than the volume of data (and the errors in the British and US data) he uses to try to support it.

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