About two months ago economists Paul Krugman and Steve Keen got in a very public, somewhat unpleasant, and very unusual, online spat.
It is worth noting that not only did Krugman not win the debate, he was pretty convincingly defeated. Businessinsider, which didn’t have a dog in this race, explained it as thus:
Ultimately, Krugman does not come off as persuasive in this fight, writing that continuing to respond is “wasting [his] time,”
The points of dispute probably went over the heads of most people, and thus the debate was probably ignored by most people, but the fact the debate happened at all is very significant. Why? Because this wasn’t a left-right debate that we see in Washington. This was a debate that displays just how extreme the discussion of economics has drifted in today’s world.
Nouriel Roubini appears to be the most commonly recognized by (virtually all) the main sources I’ve seen. Yet, economists chose Australian Professor Steve Keen over Roubini for the Revere Award (outvoted by more than a 2 to 1 margin – details below) for publicly warning of the Global Financial Crisis.
If you listen to mainstream media, you will hear that there are two alternative economic theories in the world today: 1) right-wing, Chicago School, “austerians”, who believe that to get back to “growth” and get more “competitive” we need to lower our standard of living and balance our budgets (except when it comes to military spending, of course), and 2) neo-Keynsian liberals like Paul Krugman who think we need massive amounts of deficit spending in order to get the economy going (including more military spending).
On one side you have faith in markets, in the other you have government-managed economy.