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View Diary: Social Scientists Are Better Than Journalists at Journalism (54 comments)

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  •  Krugman is right (on macroeconomics) (30+ / 0-)

    Paul Krugman won a Nobel for his work in macroeconomics.  When he talks about macroeconomics (the state of the larger economy), he is right. He is not always right about the politics of managing the economy, but he is right about the underlying economics.

    Social science is not like science where there is absolute truth.  Economics is largely about gleaning knowledge from uncertainty, and so there may be different interpretations about how to interpret the past and predict the future.  But, current and modern experience tells us that austerity is only good for dealing with hyperinflation - it's not good for crises like the worldwide crisis that started in late 2008.

    Yes, Virginia, there is an alternative to the death penalty! http://www.vadp.org

    by econlibVA on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 01:04:18 PM PST

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    •  Thanks very much. One other question, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Larsstephens, lazybum, EJP in Maine

      have we had any hyperinflation in the United States since 1900?

      Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning. -- Clarence Day

      by hestal on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 02:40:20 PM PST

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      •  If you want to compare us to Weimar Germany (6+ / 0-)

        or other countries where the currency was devalued 99.99%, then no.  You were never using shopping carts to push enough paper money to the store to buy groceries.  We had high inflation in the 1970s to early 1980s, we also had stagflation.  That supposedly "shouldn't happen" because when I got my Econ degrees, economists saw  inflation and unemployment as fitting along the Phillips curve where increasing one decreased the other.  Obviously it could occur because it did.

        Anyway, given "real" examples of hyperinflation, what we went through 40 years ago was just garden variety high inflation.  But I'm just a punter with an Achelor-Bay in Economics (Yay).  (Seriously, I do indeed have an A.B., not a B.A. in Econ,  My degree is written entirely in Latin) so let's have the diarist weigh in with the pro's opinion.

        In capitalist America, bank robs you!

        by madhaus on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 03:18:15 PM PST

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      •  No - but stagflation sucked (9+ / 0-)

        No, we haven't.  But the stagflation (high inflation and high unemployment) we had in the 1970s sucked.  Austerity wasn't needed for that, though. Instead, the Federal Reserve got rid of inflation by raising interest rates.  Unemployment increased in the early 1980s, but fell quickly when the Fed reduced interest rates, leading to Reagan's landslide in 1984.

        Lots of other countries have had hyperinflation in our lifetimes, though.  For example, Zimbabwe had hyperinflation in 2008 and abandoned its currency.

        Yes, Virginia, there is an alternative to the death penalty! http://www.vadp.org

        by econlibVA on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 03:21:44 PM PST

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        •  I remember the 1970s problems. (6+ / 0-)

          I remember that we had price and wage freezes. I could only raise my employees salaries by a very low percentage in total. So, if I gave someone a good raise by previous standards, I did not have enough money to give raises to others. This led to high turnover and hurt us. We lost people who left for more money and so I had to hire people from other companies by giving them big jumps to come over. I suppose that is a form of inflation.

          Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning. -- Clarence Day

          by hestal on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 03:33:55 PM PST

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    •  you had me until science and "absolute truth" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lotlizard

      As a longtime journalist-turned-sociologist, I support your basic premise -- and rec'd the diary -- but cannot agree that "science" trades in "absolute truths."

      That's so pre-postmodern!

      "Archaeological description is . . . an abandonment of the history of ideas, a systematic rejection of its postulates and procedures, an attempt to practice a quite different history of what men have said." --Michel Foucault

      by Adelard of Bath on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 05:33:31 PM PST

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