A fourth (fourth!) e-mail from my new pen pal, N. Gregory Mankiw, who is no doubt happy I've moved on to pointing out that Paul Romer is deeply ignorant about growth and development.
Greg gives me permission to post his e-mails again, and writes: "This will be my last email to you. If at some point in the future, you are interested in open, civil discourse, let me know. --Greg"
Which I find strange given that my first e-mail said:
"Dear Professor Mankiw,
I'm a grad-student economist-blogger concerned about economic policy, and so am asking leading economists to comment publicly on current Fed policy for my blog readers.
Do you think the Fed's current Monetary Policy stance is too tight? Should the Fed adopt an inflation target of around 2.5-3%, and do more Quantitative Easing? The Fed's unemployment forecast for Q4, 2010 is 9.3-9.7%, while it expects inflation to be 1.4-1.7%. Is this acceptable? And if so, why/why not? Are the risks of doing too much and too little really symmetric?
I look forward to hearing you weigh in on this key economic policy question. I would also like to post your response on my blog.
Very Respectfully Submitted,
What wasn't civil or respectful in the above? To recap, Greg responded to me by calling me a "coward".
In the future though, Greg, I might not respond so quickly to your emails as I'm finishing up my QJE submission, but I'm sure my blog readers at this point are hoping there is more where this came from and I have no doubt you'll furnish the goods.
Tiger Woods, who still dominates golf because he is a legitimate talent, has lost his position for violating cultural norms about sex. (OK, OK, he might have taken performance-enhancing drugs too, but I don't see how those drugs would have helped his short game -- putting and chipping. And everyone who has ever played golf knows that the short game is 90% of the sport, and that requires a delicate touch and hours of practice.)
Leading academic Macroeconomists never had such talents. Yet, as Matt Yglesias pointed out, because they have made and are making conventional mistakes, we have a Macroeconomist whose mistakes have effected millions of people celebrated on the cover of Time and Tiger, whose mistakes mostly hurt his wife, is now the worst person on the planet.
UPDATE: (edited typos above...)