The Intelligent Simon Wren-Lewis and the Thoughtful Antonio Fatas vs. the Hacks of Sol III
Liveblogging World War II: June 26, 1943

Michael Kinsley and Jacob Weisberg Really Need to Make Their Apologies to the Very Patient and Mild-Mannered Daniel Kuehn...

…for giving Stephen Landsburg a megaphone.

But Landsburg was Edgy. Contrarian. Provocative. Exactly what Kinsley and Weisburg wanted for Slate

Daniel take his turn as the Sanitation Department:

Facts & other stubborn things: As misleading as…: "Now, though I cannot seem to find a reference, I have a vague memory that it was Murray Rothbard who observed [<<< DPK: Well we're clearly off to a bad start] that the really neat thing about this [Keynesian] argument is that you can do exactly the same thing with any accounting identity. Let’s start with this one: Y = L + E; Here Y is economy-wide income, L is Landsburg’s income, and E is everyone else’s income. No disputing that one. Next we observe that everyone else’s share of the income tends to be about 99.999999% of the total. In symbols, we have: E = .99999999 Y. Combine these two equations, do your algebra, and voila: Y = 100,000,000 L. That 100,000,000 there is the soon-to-be-famous “Landsburg multiplier”. Our equation proves that if you send Landsburg a dollar, you’ll generate $100,000,000 worth of income for everyone else."

No, no, no, no.

The Keynesian multiplier has two sides: income and expenditure. The economy's income today is the economy's expenditure yesterday. If you had a lot of income today but there was not a lot of expenditure today, then tomorrow you will have less income. Landsburg drops the expenditure side…. So by botching the income/expenditure distinction Landsburg gives us a triviality. Even Say did better than that…. Landsburg adds a genuine error. The slope of the consumption component… is not… the consumption share of output… [but] the marginal propensity to consume…. Keynes made the multiplier go because he had income and expenditure. When you have income and income you… just have a tautology…. Econ 101 students ought to know better because of course the Keynesian cross is pretty uniformly taught with both income and expenditure from the get-go!…


Apparently this reasoning, which Landsburg got from Rothbard, originally came from Hazlitt…: me yet another reason to never, ever, waste any of my precious time on this Earth reading Hazlitt.