Krugman vs the WSJ Editorial Page, Round 127

People don’t want to hear your economic outlook or proscription unless you’re a part of their tribe.  Paul Krugman is correct in that, I see it everyday.

People aren’t very receptive to evidence if it doesn’t come from a member of their cultural community. This has been blindingly obvious these past few years.

Consider what the different sides in economic debate have been predicting these past six or seven years. If you got your views from, say, the Wall Street Journal editorial page, you knew – knew – that there was no housing bubble, that America in 2008 wasn’t in recession, that budget deficits would send interest rates sky-high, that the Fed’s expansion of its balance sheet would produce huge inflation, that austerity policies would lead to economic expansion.

That’s quite a record. And yet I’m well aware that many people – including people with real money at stake – consider the WSJ a reliable source and people like, well, me flaky and unbelievable.

The next time you find yourself in a heated economic discussion with your golf buds or that asshole brother-in-law of yours, ask yourself whether or not they’ve come to battle with facts or just orthodoxy from their “church.”


Economic Tribalism (NYT)