Buffoon 1 – Hinderaker 0
Every once in a while it’s fun to go through the Power Line archives to find a particularly good example of their wrongness. John Hinderaker is especially talented in that department – especially when he writes about anything related to economics.
Here is an excellent example from August 2005 – about 7 months before the housing bubble peaked:
It must be depressing to be Paul Krugman. No matter how well the economy performs, Krugman’s bitter vendetta against the Bush administration requires him to hunt for the black lining in a sky full of silvery clouds. With the economy now booming, what can Krugman possibly have to complain about? In today’s column, titled That Hissing Sound, Krugman says there is a housing bubble, and it’s about to burst.
If only Paul Krugman would have put aside his bitter vendetta against the Bush administration, maybe he could have seen the truth! Right, John?
Well, if we believed anything Krugman writes, we’d be worried all the time. Or at least until we have a Democratic administration, when everything will be rosy again.
I don’t doubt that some people in places like San Francisco and San Diego have paid too much for their houses. But it isn’t clear, and Krugman doesn’t even try to explain, why that constitutes a bubble or why level or declining home prices in selected areas around the country will somehow imperil the economy.
Krugman actually suggested that declining home prices could imperil the economy?! What a hack!
There are, of course, obvious differences between houses and stocks. Most people own only one house at a time, and transaction costs make it impractical to buy and sell houses the way you buy and sell stocks. Krugman thinks the fact that James Glassman doesn’t buy the bubble theory is evidence in its favor, but if you read Glassman’s article on the subject, you’ll see that he actually makes some of the same points that Krugman does. But he argues, persuasively in my view, that there is little reason to fear a catastrophic collapse in home prices.
I tried to find that persuasive argument, but it seems to have been removed from the Townhall site. Lucky for us, Hinderaker’s record still exists.
Krugman will have to come up with something much better, I think, to cause many others to share his pessimism.
What Hinderaker thought was pessimism turned out to be incredibly accurate economic analysis!
Now, we should give Hinderaker the benefit of the doubt. Back in 2005, he might not have realized that Krugman actually knows quite a bit about economics. So I decided to search through his recent writings to see if he had anything to say about Krugman. Maybe he learned his lesson and wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss his views. Here’s what I found from April of last year: Paul Krugman: Punch Line!
We have had fun beating up on Paul Krugman over the years. Krugman is the most fact-challenged of the New York Times stable of far-left commentators, which is saying a great deal. It is good to see that the general public has caught on to the fact that Krugman is a buffoon. Here, Wisconsin Congressman Sean Duffy addresses a town hall crowd, and a lefty in the audience quotes Krugman. Hilarity ensues:
I guess not.