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Thornton Hall

The Revolution Will Be Kuhnian.

Derp, Denialism, or Sin?

Much of the pundit class focuses on the extreme ideology of the GOP, but the policy positions that become law are what Americans care about.

In practice, the ideology of the GOP is actually quite broad, seeping into subject areas that most of us would consider to be the province of empirical rather than ideological reasoning. This includes judgments about "the hammock effects of the welfare state", the magic vagina's ability to "shut that whole thing down", and the "job creators without customers theory of employment." These points are easy to make fun of, but Jane Q. Public isn't laughing when she can no longer feed her family, visit a women's health center, or buy whatever widget she spends 80 hours a week producing.

This is why our warped economic debate is no longer just ideological, it's also moral.

Mike Konzcal looks at the "bad faith" of economists who say things they know to be false in support of policies they like for unrelated (generally, ideological) reasons. This is contrasted with the "derp" described by Noah Smith where, for example, an economist who honestly (but mistakenly) believes that QE causes inflation continues to demand anti-inflation policies that cause mass suffering, despite massive amounts of evidence that inflation fears are not justified.

Lying to bring about mass suffering in the service of an ideology: Konzcal calls it "bad faith." Ted Cruz wants to be sure no one calls it "evil."

I don't know from "evil", but it seems hard to argue it is not a sin.

Medical Miracle

Friedman in the rear view mirror