Defending Karl Smith

On Modeled Behavior, a commenter pulls an ad hominem:

Karl, I won’t call you a hack–you aren’t, but the first part of that post contained breathtaking partisan quackery.

And I replied:


Karl is not a quack. He honestly holds his positions and he can articulate why he holds them. He may be the only top blogger I can say that of. I know. I monitor the entire ecosystem.

The truth is that none of us are certain. Economics and sociology are immature fields with a short history and insufficient data. We’re all trying to figure out the human race. And we’re all claiming that our preferences are somehow scientific, and independent of our underlying sentiments both paternal and maternal, and are ultimate truths rather than cognitive biases in a fragile equilibrium. They are not. It is the equilibrium that we don’t know how to measure, not our paternal and maternal sentiments.

I disagree with Karl on the consequences of progressive Keynesian policy (spending). I don’t disagree with him on its operating principles. I think we just don’t know the answers yet, and that we shouldn’t create fragility in our very unique society until we do know.

It is not useful to debate with foolish or deceitful people. Deception is eristic. Foolish is a waste of time.

Karl Smith is the real thing. He may be the only top blogger that I can say that of.

(And I can go through probably the top hundred bloggers and enumerate the irrational tactics that each of the others relies upon for no other reason than to avoid exposing the sentimental rather than rational basis of his arguments.)

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