Saturday, December 19, 2009

Greg Mankiw Responds

Here is an opinion, but not on the topic you asked about:

I have stumbled upon your blog a couple times, and I must say that I am very much put off by it. The blogosphere is fill with too much rude ad hominem rhetoric. Engaging in it under a pen name seems particularly cowardly. I recommend having the courage of your convictions by revealing your name. Otherwise, stop the mean-spiritied attacks on Larry Summers and other economists of note.


To which I responded:

One unsolicited opinion deserves another:

I have stumbled upon your blog a couple times, and have seen your writings, including a speech you gave as President Bush's CEA Chair, and I must say that I am very put off by it. The world is filled with too many conservative white male economists detached from the real world who give horrifically bad economic advice, sell overpriced and low-quality textbooks, and are accountable to no one. Removing the comment section from your blog seems particularly cowardly, you should be ashamed to charge $178.50 for your textbook, and calling tax cuts for the rich and social security privatization "deficit reduction strategies" in your speech as CEA chair was tantamount to prostitution. I recommend having the courage of your convictions by restoring your comment section, cutting the price of your textbook in half, denouncing the failed positions you took in the Bush Administration, and calling the Fed out on its misguided policies over the past year and a half, which continue to affect millions of people.


Thorstein Veblen

P.S. The course I am TA'ing for next quarter will be using your favorite textbook, and so I'm going to blog the course and review your book, which I haven't seen yet. I won't be pulling any punches, but I will also take your advice and refrain from cheap shots. If you wanted to be non-ideological about it, you could actually use my review to make future editions of your text better.


What creeps me out is why he wants to know my name? I explained pretty clearly that I'm a grad student blogger. He wouldn't recognize my name anyway. WTF?


  1. Good one. Mankiw should have kept his comments section open. Did you notice how he loves dropping names and associations on his blog? Nobelist that, Nobelist that.......

    Sheesh. I got my PhD at MIT, but people like Mankiw disgust me. Sorry I have to stay anonymous.

  2. lol... yep.

    I suspect dropping the comments section was mostly a business decision -- he couldn't have people criticizing his books and their prices where the TRUE BELIEVERS can see. Although I also suspect he has sensitive skin.

    When you were a part of the Bush Economic Team, so closely associated with tax cuts for the rich, a policy which was utterly irresponsible on multiple levels, you'd think he would be more accustomed to having anonymous people lay into him.

    That he has not just shows how much respect people get who have the H on their resume get for no reason.

  3. Don't be naive: So he can ruin your f'ing career.

    That's the only reason he asked.

  4. The childish tone of your response more or less proves Mankiw's point, doesn't it? You can disagree with his policy perspectives without, um, resorting to ad hominem rudeness.

  5. You are a douchenozzle.

  6. " Although I also suspect he has sensitive skin"

    IMHO he closed comments because he was being regularly punked. The reason that he was being regularly punked was that he was making arguments so ridiculous that not even a Harvard economics professor could get away with them. At least, not with random internet commenters; I'll lay $20 that a table of econ professors at the AEA would do as well.

  7. Suggestion: if it is not mandated by your dept always select a book that can be bought cheap like Krugman. I think you can get used compies right around $10.

  8. I suspect he wants you to rid yourself of your anonymity because it puts your reputation on the line. More often than not, anonymity online lowers how much effort and honesty people put into contributions. Overwhelmingly people trash talk when they can say anything you want without consequences, you filthy child molester.

  9. I find it hilarious that a teaching assistant at what I can only assume to be a fetid, low-ranked, still-water swamp has the idea that they can give any credible advice which the chairperson of the Harvard department of economics has not actually heard a million times before.

    If you are going to spoil your students introduction to reasonable economic theory, please fulfill the caricature I have of you in my head, and teach out of the Bowes textbook...

    ...Or, as I call it, emergency toilet paper. But hey, the type of politicized ideological turd who thinks that every violation of ratex or perfect competition is a damning condemnation of Gregory Mankiw and Ken Arrow-- yourself, namely-- probably find it insightful.

  10. I hope you enjoy unemployment, because if it isn't your present it certainly is your future.

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