Arnold Kling To Paul Krugman

While you are at TCS, do also read Arnold Kling’s open letter to Paul Krugman. I find his distinction between consequence-based arguments and motive-based arguments very important and persuasive. I have always found motive-based arguments to be cheap, shoddy and unpersuasive, and as usual Arnold hits the nail on the head.

What’s also interesting is that his analysis helps explain my reaction to hearing Paul Krugman interviewed on a show on my local NPR station last week. I didn’t know it was him until about 3 minutes in because I missed the intro, but I thought he was making really good points about our foreign trade policy over the last decade, the WTO, negotiations, etc. Now I can figure out why it was such a good interview — in addition to making sound analyses based on his extensive academic work, Krugman was making consequence-based arguments and not motive-based arguments.

Interesting … yet again, like he did with the elastic economy idea, Arnold helps me to frame out the conceptual world.