Monday, March 11, 2013

Jeffrey Sachs and Keynesian Economics

Jeff Sachs characterizes himself as a progressive. He wrote this piece on "America's New Progressive Era?" and finished it with this:
Implementation of public policy is just as important to good governance as the vision that underlies it. So the next task is to design wise, innovative, and cost-effective programs to address these challenges. Unfortunately, when it comes to bold and innovative programs to meet critical human needs, America is out of practice. It is time to begin anew, and Obama’s full-throated defense of a progressive vision points the US in the right direction.
I'm certainly on board with that. We need vision, but the government needs to find a practical path to getting things done. Government needs to be wise and innovative. There are elements of American society that are a mess and need to be fixed, and some of that fixing needs to be done by the federal government.

A lot of progressives are Keynesians and, not surprisingly, Jeff Sachs appears to be one too. But Keynesians come in many different types. John Taylor is a Keynesian. Ben Bernanke is a Keynesian. So is Greg Mankiw. There are New Keynesians, like Mike Woodford and Mark Gertler. More than likely, if we could re-animate Keynes, he would have a hard time recognizing his work in any of what those people do.

Though Jeff Sachs is a Keynesian, he views himself as a particular kind of Keynesian, and he has taken issue recently with Keynesians he calls "crude Keynesians." Sachs recently wrote this post, which I found interesting. It's pretty bold, actually, and I agree with most of it. The gist of Sachs's piece is in line with some arguments I have made here. For example read this.

Here are some of the juicy parts of Sachs's post. He says that there are four elements of crude Keynesianism, and that all of those positions are "misguided":
(1) The belief that multipliers on tax cuts and transfers are stable, predictable and large;
(2) The belief that America's employment and growth problems are overwhelmingly cyclical, not structural, and therefore remediable by short-term aggregate demand management;
(3) The belief that a growing debt burden is a minor nuisance as long as the economy is in recession;
(4) The belief that for practical purposes, the most urgent need is to raise aggregate demand rather than to focus on the quality and type of public spending.

Sachs characterizes the problems of the U.S. economy as structural, and not the result of some sort of "aggregate demand deficiency."
What are some of the structural problems? These include large-scale offshoring of jobs, large-scale automation of jobs, decline in demand for low-skilled workers, skill mismatches, broken infrastructure, and rising global energy and food prices. These require various kinds of targeted public investment spending, not simply aggregate demand.

I especially like this one:
The US economic emergency in late 2008 and early 2009 wasn't really an aggregate demand crisis but a financial crisis.
That should be pretty obvious, but many people don't seem to get it.

Predictably, the usual cast of characters is calling Sachs an idiot. Someone should take him out to lunch and give him a pat on the back.

48 comments:

  1. You say you agree with 'most' of Sach's article. Care to mention the points you don't agree on?

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    1. In the quote above that starts with "What are the structural problems?": Is offshoring of jobs a policy problem? I'm not sure. I'd like to know what Sachs proposes to do about it. Is the large-scale automation of jobs a problem? You might think that's an opportunity. Electrification certainly destroyed some jobs, but I don't think anyone thinks we would be better off without electricity.

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  2. "I especially like this one:
    The US economic emergency in late 2008 and early 2009 wasn't really an aggregate demand crisis but a financial crisis."

    Why can't we say it was both?

    Yes, financial stress indicators were elevated.

    But on the other hand, market forecast of aggregate demand two years ahead was very low.

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    1. "aggregate demand" is just not a useful way to think about what is going on, what the problems are, and what the solutions are.

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    2. What about "excess demand for money"? Is that a useful way to think about what is going on, what the problems are, and what the solutions are? (Even if it is not the whole story...and even if that part of the problem has been remedied by now...)

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    3. Stephen, at least we can try to separate two distinct shocks in 2008-09: the required return on financial intermediation went up, and the expected price level two years ahead went down. Which had a greater impact?

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    4. 1. "excess demand for money" is not an observable phenomenon; it has to do with some model and how you use that model to understand what you see. In models that are commonly in use, prices are either all flexible, or the prices of goods and services and/or wages are sticky in some sense. In order to have an excess demand for money some asset price or prices would have to be sticky. I have never seen a model like that, and if I did, I think I wouldn't like it.

      2. "...the required return on financial intermediation went up..." I'm not sure what you mean. I might say that various credit market and asset market frictions got more severe - the prices of collateral dropped, information got worse, there was more uncertainty about the quality of assets, default is costly, and the there was more of it. Is that what you mean?

      "...the expected price level two years ahead went down."

      I have no idea what was in the minds of market participants during the financial crisis. You can best describe them as confused. I do know what the actual price path was two years ahead of the financial crisis. Here's an exercise for you. Plot the pce deflator (headline). Also plot a 2% growth path, either from early 2007, or if you like from the trough in late 2008. Then, describe to me what you see.

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    5. "'aggregate demand' is just not a useful way to think about what is going on, what the problems are, and what the solutions are."

      Ignoring the factor at the very heart of the current crisis, i.e., inadequate aggregate demand, is not a very good start at arriving at a useful way of thinking about what the problems are and what solutions will work. The fact is that models that rely on aggregate demand have rendered the best predictions about the effects of policy choices that we have made over the past 8 years, and it is foolish to wave them away as you do above.

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    6. "I'm not sure what you mean. I might say that various credit market and asset market frictions got more severe - the prices of collateral dropped, information got worse, there was more uncertainty about the quality of assets, default is costly, and the there was more of it. Is that what you mean?"
      No, these things have reduced the return on financial intermediation. However, the expected return on financial intermediation went up, as the capital invested in financial intermediation was destroyed faster. So frictions reduce expected return, however the expected return went up, because the capital of financial intermediaries was destroyed, you can look it up in the financial sector stock market index. This is why QE1 was a good idea.

      "I have no idea what was in the minds of market participants during the financial crisis. You can best describe them as confused. I do know what the actual price path was two years ahead of the financial crisis. Here's an exercise for you. Plot the pce deflator (headline). Also plot a 2% growth path, either from early 2007, or if you like from the trough in late 2008. Then, describe to me what you see."
      If you take rational expectations seriously, you should be interested in market indicators of expected price level. In one of his speeches Bullard has the charts you are interested in, however I am interested in a different thing. In late 2008, and early 2009, market prices indicated that headline pce deflator was expected to deviate from the long term path.

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    7. "The fact is that models that rely on aggregate demand have rendered the best predictions about the effects of policy choices that we have made over the past 8 years, and it is foolish to wave them away as you do above."

      This is so wrong it is impossible to begin replying.

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  3. What Sachs did that so inflamed much of Krugman's camp was co-author a piece with Joe S., a deficit hawk. And it was a needlessly provocative act.

    I agree with Sachs that not all spending is equally effective as stimulus. That is what one might call a 'no-brainer.'

    In being provocative himself, Krugman sometimes postures to the extreme that all government spending is stimulative and therefore equally good.

    There are no fights more pointlessly vicious than academic quarrels.

    But it does show a bit how academics fawn over power, that so often eludes them.

    Both Sachs and Krugman are wrong in what they did, and acting out of frustration in not feeling comfortable speaking out against a faux progressive administration.

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    1. I don't know. Would you rather have them sit at home and be quiet?

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    2. "In being provocative himself, Krugman sometimes postures to the extreme that all government spending is stimulative and therefore equally good."

      I don't think PK has taken that position at all. He has occasionally opined that, all else being equal, more spending will expand the economy under current conditions, so that paying people to dig up jars of money will be expansionary and so will paying people to build bridges. But, he has never taken the position that paying people to dig up money is equivalent to paying people to build bridges. He has been consistent in saying that projects that yield bridges are better for the economy than projects that yield only holes in the ground, even though, under current conditions, both projects would be expansionary.

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  4. The way I see it, Krugman thinks that everything written in macro after IS-LM has been a waste of time, while Sachs does not. Who knows, maybe people will begin to understand that you do not need to think like Krugman to be considered a progressive.

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  5. Stephen,

    I guess you’re preaching to the choir, but you’re not going to convince many people who don’t already agree with you.

    Consider Sach’s claims, which you seem to endorse:

    “(1) The belief that multipliers on tax cuts and transfers are stable, predictable and large.” Who believes this? Haven’t Blanchard, DeLong, Krugman, et al been arguing that the size of multipliers depends on many things, e.g., lower bound, liquidity-constrained households, etc.?

    “(2) The belief that America's employment and growth problems are overwhelmingly cyclical, not structural, and therefore remediable by short-term aggregate demand management.” Didn’t unemployment rise across most industries and most occupations, across college grads and high school grads? (From Mike Konczal; yes a “usual suspect,” but we don’t count ad hominem arguments do we?)

    “(3) The belief that a growing debt burden is a minor nuisance as long as the economy is in recession.” Well, isn’t it? On the one hand, it’s hard to find evidence of Sach’s claim in financial markets. On the other hand, quite a bit has been done to reduce projected deficits. Has it not?

    “(4) The belief that for practical purposes, the most urgent need is to raise aggregate demand rather than to focus on the quality and type of public spending.” OK, sure, the public investments in the stimulus weren’t ideal. But the most thoroughgoing analysis (see The New New Deal) reveals a lot of good alternative energy projects, IT projects in health care that will reduce costs, and several other good investments. You and Sachs should read the book.

    Finally, your list of contemporary “Keynesians” leaves out Roger Farmer, whose Old Keynesian model does indeed make room for “aggregate demand.” (See http://www.the-human-predicament.com/2013/02/stephen-williamson-does-not-sort-out.html)

    p.s. If John Taylor is a “Keynesian,” then, indeed, the word has lost its meaning.

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  6. 1. "... but you’re not going to convince many people who don’t already agree with you." My brother is a serious Roman Catholic. I'm not going to bother trying to argue with him about the usefulness of religion. That's a lost cause. In economics, though, some people think like scientists, and they're willing to be convinced. Some people, though, treat economics like it's a religion. Those people aren't interested in being convinced, and you might as well talk to a piece of wood. That's the way it goes.

    " If John Taylor is a “Keynesian,” then, indeed, the word has lost its meaning."

    That statement indicates that you don't know what "Keynesian" means. Taylor wrote this paper:

    http://ideas.repec.org/a/ucp/jpolec/v88y1980i1p1-23.html

    That's late-seventies vintage sticky-wage Keynesian economics.

    Taylor also wrote this:

    http://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/crcspp/v39y1993ip195-214.html

    That's the "Taylor rule" paper. The Taylor rule for some reason has become a cornerstone of New Keynesian economics.

    You may be confusing "Republican" with "Keynesian." There are Republicans who are Keynesians (Taylor, Bernanke, Mankiw). There are Democrats who are not Keynesians (e.g. Sargent). I would be a non-Keynesian or unconvinced Keynesian, but I also think of myself as liberal and progressive, and I vote for Democrats.

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    1. Stephen,

      You write, "That statement indicates that you don't know what "Keynesian" means. Taylor wrote this paper:

      http://ideas.repec.org/a/ucp/jpolec/v88y1980i1p1-23.html"

      Well, this paper is from 1980, and, yes, I was thinking of that magnificent 2012 piece, "Economists for Romney," which Taylor, along with Becker, Lucas, Prescott, Barro, etc., signed.

      You seem to want to call "Keynesian" any model that includes "rigidities" of various kinds, but especially wages and prices, even though such rigidities don't figure in the GT, and, according to many self-proclaimed Keynesians (F. Hahn, Lance Taylor, R. Farmer, and many others), aren't necessary to produce suboptimal outcomes. (I realize that "Keynesians," in your sense of the term, may vote for Republicans or Democrats.)

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    2. Sure, Mankiw wrote about menu costs and wrote the "Sticky Wage Manifesto" with Larry Ball, and he worked for Romney. Funny world isn't it? People have been arguing about what Keynes meant and what a Keynesian is, ever since Keynes wrote the General Theory. You're not going to find consensus on any of those things. I've talked to Roger Farmer on many occasions, and he has an opinion on what Keynes said. Woodford has another one. Maybe it's not important.

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    3. Another thought: There are indeed many types of Keynesians. There are New Keynesians, Old Keynesians, crude Keynesians, etc. There are also big-tent Keynesians ("we're all Keynesians now") and stickler Keynesians. Greg, I think, is the latter.

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    4. I hope I am not abusing our host's hospitality if I engage Greg on his first two points.

      (1) I can't help feeling uneasy when economists make assertions regarding the size of the multiplier based on a model, DSGE or otherwise. Maybe it is because in grad school I was taught first-year macro by a public finance person, but I always keep in mind that the political process is much more complex than simply raising G in a system of equations. Indeed, here is a paper by Young and Sobel, forthcoming in Public Choice, that highlights how these complexities are relevant in the case of the ARRA.
      http://faculty.citadel.edu/sobel/All%20Pubs%20PDF/Recovery%20and%20Reinvestment%20Act.pdf

      (2) First, with costly search, structural shocks like the adoption of skill-biased technology by some firms can raise unemployment for both high and low skilled workers. The reasons have been highlighted by Acemoglu (1999).
      http://ideas.repec.org/a/aea/aecrev/v89y1999i5p1259-1278.html
      Therefore, the fact that unemployment rates have risen for all levels of education does not prove by itself that this has not been the result of a structural shock. Krugman keeps repeating this point, but I believe he was at MIT when Acemoglu wrote the paper.

      Second, Jaimovich and Siu
      http://faculty.arts.ubc.ca/hsiu/research/polar20120331.pdf
      show that the shedding of jobs due to structural change takes place largely during recessions. So even if part of the increase in unemployment reflects a response to an aggregate shock, how on earth are policy-maker supposed to distinguish between valuable jobs that are worth saving, and jobs lost to innovation that should therefore be allowed to perish? In fact, even if they could separate one type from the other, does anyone really believe that they can implement policies that target the job market with such specificity?

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    5. Stephen,

      You write, “Another thought: There are indeed many types of Keynesians. There are New Keynesians, Old Keynesians, crude Keynesians, etc. There are also big-tent Keynesians (‘we're all Keynesians now’) and stickler Keynesians. Greg, I think, is the latter.”

      I’m only a “stickler Keynesian” (love the label) insofar as I’d like to see some kind of relation to Keynes’s own ideas in the models you call “Keynesian.” The problem, from the standpoint of intellectual history, is that “Keynesian” came to be identified with the view that sticky wages are the cause of unemployment, and many of the “Keynesians” you mention simply develop variations on this theme. But this wasn’t Keynes’s own view, and by paying so much attention to rigidities and frictions, you miss the real insights Keynes has to offer.

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    6. CA,

      You write, “I can't help feeling uneasy when economists make assertions regarding the size of the multiplier based on a model, DSGE or otherwise.” I don’t disagree, but you might want to take a look at http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/wp/2013/wp1301.pdf, which claims to show that actual multipliers in the recent past were larger than the implicit multipliers in various forecasts of GDP.

      “Therefore, the fact that unemployment rates have risen for all levels of education does not prove by itself that this has not been the result of a structural shock.” Fair enough, but you’ve also got lots of unemployment across many industries and occupations, and businesses continue to stress “lack of demand” to explain their lack of hiring. Besides, there’s no need to “implement policies that target the job market with [great] specificity.” There are lots of projects that would generate expected net benefits at current interest rates.

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    7. Greg,

      I have actually blogged about the Blanchard and Leigh paper, since it has generated a lot of discussion in my home country, Greece. But the paper focuses on European economies, and discusses the impact of spending cuts. I am not sure how relevant it is for the U.S. and for spending increases. Moreover, Blanchard and Leigh acknowledge that the paper only examines correlation and not causation. In other words, they cannot tell how much of the recession was caused by austerity measures and how much by other factors. In Greece there was a huge outflow of deposits, a huge bank run, triggered by speculation that Greece will exit the Euro. Krugman was one of the speculators (I am still waiting for a public apology). The resulting credit crunch had a negative impact on economic activity. How does one separate this impact from the impact of, say, pension cuts?

      "There are lots of projects that would generate expected net benefits at current interest rates."
      But this is exactly the disagreement between Sachs and Krugman. Sachs is saying, let's target these projects rather than spend first, ask questions later!

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    8. Even Steve can claim a Keynesian heritage. Liquidity premium and premia, which we discussed in Steve's previous post, are straight out of Chapter 17 of the General Theory. New Keynesians forgot that stuff. Labels are probably less important than substance.

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    9. I once wrote about credit rationing. Some people, Stiglitz included, thought of that as a Keynesian phenomenon. You can construct an equilibrium where everything is completely "flexible" in that everyone is writing optimal and mutually advantageous credit contracts. But the credit market does not clear in the usual sense. In general equilibrium, nothing identifiable as Keynsian comes out of it though.

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    10. CA,

      Thanks for the reply. Here's a different IMF paper on multipliers that might satisfy your criteria, i.e., includes U.S. data, spending increases, and is not derived from a DSGE model: http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/wp/2012/wp12286.pdf

      Recall that the issue raised by Sachs is whether Krugman, et al, assume, among other things, a "stable" multiplier. Reading their blogs, it seems pretty clear, to me at least, that Krugman, et al believe the multiplier varies with the state of the economy.

      In claiming there are lots of potential investment projects that would yield net benefits, I was responding to your question, "does anyone really believe that they can implement policies that target the job market with such specificity?" I was pointing out that this kind of "specificity" isn't necessary, rather than defending Krugman, et al.

      J.P. Koning,

      Yes, "Labels are probably less important than substance." But labels can be important too. For example, Stephen draws on a lot of stuff in his provocative working paper, "Sorting Out Keynesian Economics: A New Monetarist Approach." But the model developed in the paper bears so little resemblance to Keynes's theory, or even to Roger Farmer's model, which Stephen begins with, that his conclusion, i.e., "There is nothing about this paper [i.e., Williamson’s own paper] that should make us any more comfortable with Keynesian analysis," falls flat.

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    11. Stephen,

      If I understand your point, you're looking at credit rationing as an outcome that's consistent with an equilibrium in which everything is "flexible," but "nothing identifiable as Keynsian comes out of it." I don't disagree with this, but would just add that Frank Hahn, among others, developed models in which everything is "flexible" and the resulting equilibrium *is* recognizably Keynesian.

      (I suspect Stiglitz regarded his work on credit rationing as "Keynesian" because Stiglitz regarded credit rationing as a market failure with macroeconomic implications.)

      Now a real "stickler Keynesian" might insist that Stiglitz's work has nothing to do with Keynes, who, of course, knew nothing about recent work on asymmetric information. I'm not such a "stickler" and think Keynes would have made good use of this work.

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    12. Who cares if someone is a Keynesian or not? Krugman's macro isn't useless because it is or isn't Keynesian, it is useless because it is wrong. Keynes did not have all the answers, and scientists do not look for truths in 80 year old books full of logical inconsistencies backed with little data. That is called religion, and I wish Krugman would admit that is his purpose. Greg Hill too, whoever the hell he is.

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    13. Greg,

      but the new article you site is consistent with Sachs' view, with which I largely agree. They find that the U.S. revenue multiplier is close to zero. And while the find a spending multiplier greater than one, their measure of spending is government consumption and public investment. It does not include transfer payments. What was Sach's critique of the ARRA? Precisely that tax cuts and transfer payments have little effect. What Sachs calls for is greater public investment, on projects however that have a high social return. Such a plan takes longer to devise, but is certainly more effective!

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    14. CA,

      I think we're addressing two different questions. I was responding to Sachs' claim that Krugman, et al, assume a "stable" multiplier across different "economic states," rather than Sachs' claim that "tax cuts and transfer payments have little effect."

      This confusion is my fault. Rather than citing papers showing that the size of the multiplier depends on the state of the economy, I should've just cited posts from Krugman, et al, in which they stress this point.

      Since we're probably exhausting Stephen's hospitality, feel free to reply on my blog if you're so inclined: http://www.the-human-predicament.com/

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  7. Steven,

    How you can know what you know about economics, and still be a liberal, a progressive, and vote democrat leaves me so puzzled! Its like you know a lot about baking a really good cake, but you want to dump it in the trash after you make it.

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    1. Your comment leaves me puzzled. I'm not sure what I'm doing that you'd rather have me not do.

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  8. The problem with Sach's article is not that his views are without merit, it's that he made crude generalizations about the views of others that are just wrong. Someone of his level ought to be able to do better than debating a straw man. To wit:

    (1) The belief that multipliers on tax cuts and transfers are stable, predictable and large;

    Many "crude keynesians" in fact believe that multipliers vary and are unpredictable, but that they are likely to be high at the ZLB.

    (2) The belief that America's employment and growth problems are overwhelmingly cyclical, not structural, and therefore remediable by short-term aggregate demand management;

    This is a correct approximation; however, many of the people that think this cite evidence, for example, by comparing employment trends across industries. To be sure there is some evidence of structural issues, but I would be curious as to the evidence that these are the overwhelming factors as opposed to just a factor and how we address the fact that many of these factors were present prior to the recession.

    (3) The belief that a growing debt burden is a minor nuisance as long as the economy is in recession;

    Not sure it's accurate to say it's a minor nuisance. More that having one's own currency makes a difference and that 90% is a not set in stone. The fact that it's a minor nuisance at this point is arguably an observation, not a point of theory.

    (4) The belief that for practical purposes, the most urgent need is to raise aggregate demand rather than to focus on the quality and type of public spending.

    I'm not sure that those with "crude" views really think this doesn't matter or that more targeted spending would be ill advised. In fact, many have said just the opposite. This seems to confuse the point about spending, which is that with so much slack in the ecomony, (i) public spending will not crowd out private investment, and (ii) government spending will boost demand. Data seems to bear this out, though again, agreeing with the above does not prevent one from agreeing that certain types of spending are better than others.

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    1. Criticism is a tricky business. And of course a standard rhetorical trick is the straw man. I've seen a lot of people use it, Krugman in particular. You might want to argue that there are some straw men in Sachs's piece. Possibly there's a bit of straw, but I thought it fairly accurately captured Krugman's views in particular.

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  9. Steven, Re: Puzzled

    Oh no, I don't wish you to do anything other than what you want to do. Just trying to understand the logical chain from rigorous New Monetarism modeling/thinking to the policy impact of your expressed voting preferences.

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    1. As an economist I understand that there are some things the government should do, some things it should not do, and many things it does that it could do a much better job of doing. There does not exist a political party in the United States that does things the way I would like them done. But there is the lesser of two evils, and that party is also more tolerant of all the diverse elements in our society, so I go with that.

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  10. Sachs characterizes the problems of the U.S. economy as structural, and not the result of some sort of "aggregate demand deficiency."

    This is, to be polite, utter nonsense. Structural problems are medium- or long-run issues and thus cannot explain the rise of unemployment.

    Ignoring the typical freshwater demand denial (aka not caring one iota about millions of unemployed people, something which led to fascism (BrĂ¼ning-Hitler) in my country during the thirties), there is actually nothing wrong with combining short-run demand management and long-run structural issues. If Sachs is for public investment into green technologies expansionary fiscal policy can take the form of such investments. It is actually the best of both worlds.

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  11. Stephen Williamson March 12, 2013 at 6:53 AM

    "aggregate demand" is just not a useful way to think about what is going on, what the problems are, and what the solutions are.

    This little paragraph explains why Keynes is Keynes and Williamson is Williamson.

    I wonder if Keynes would see any of the people who claim to be Keynesian as such?

    I think not. After all, he opposed deficit spending by countries having a current account deficit, thinking that it would do no good.

    Today, Keynes would be advocating that China run deficits because of its current account surplus. M. Pettis has made this point for years. By that measure no one listed above is a Keynesian, for none advocate a first step to prosperity---ending our current account deficit. That is the deficit that matters.

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    1. Stephen, your tolerance.criteria and economic reasoning would lead me to suggest the Libertarian party as superior to the other two evils. But differences are what makes markets! Thankyou so much for responding to my little questions! I truly extract a large consumer surplus from reading your blog.

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    2. I have certainly heard people who call themselves libertarians say things that I agree with. However, in that group there is also a high concentration of crackpots. Crackpots of course are everywhere, but for some reason many self-select as libertarians.

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  12. Mr. Williamson are you planning to take Stiglitz out to dinner as he too argued for certain structural issues back in that Rolling Stones magazine.

    As to the question of John Taylor being a Keynesian I can't help but notice that the two links you provided are a while ago. Is there anything he's said recently that might answer the question?

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    1. I didn't read the Rolling Stone piece - I'll have to look that up. I once actually did take Stiglitz to dinner, though technically it was the university I worked for that paid the food bill. Sometimes I agree with Stiglitz. Sometimes I don't. On the agreement part, he said something a while back about being astonished at how central bankers who construct macro models had totally ignored the banking sector. Exactly.

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    2. Taylor uses New Keynesian DSGE models in his papers nearly all the time.

      These models typically include short-term nominal rigidities, imperfect competition, other frictions, and optimizing behavior on the part of firms and households.

      Just look at his list of publications for examples, such as his recent paper in Economic Dynamics and Control.

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    3. Taylor, like Mankiw, is a great economist who has basically and started to consistently lie after he has started to play for Team Republican. Quite sad to see how great minds regress in the vain hope of getting a job in a right-wing administration.

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    4. As opposed to economists who lie consistently to get a left-wing agenda advanced? Hmm, there aren't any of those around, are there? Nope, can't really think of any...

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