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Wed Feb 20, 2013, 07:34 PM

"How Paul Krugman Broke A Wikipedia Page On Economics" By Andrew Leonard at Salon

How Paul Krugman Broke A Wikipedia Page On Economics

By Andrew Leonard at Salon



There’s a lockdown on the Wikipedia page for Austrian economics and wouldn’t you know it, one or way or another, it all seems to be Paul Krugman’s fault.

Broadly speaking, Austrian economics, for those who have not yet had the pleasure of being introduced, are characterized by an extreme distrust of state intervention in markets, a distaste for statistical modeling and a general confidence that markets, left to their own devices, will avoid booms and busts and nasty things like inflation. From a political perspective, Austrian economics tends to lurk to the right of even such conservative icons as Milton Friedman.

For more detail, you can go, of course, to the Wikipedia page for Austrian economics. But until at least Feb. 28, if you do so, you will find that the page “is currently protected from editing.” An “edit war” has been raging behind the scenes. Two factions were repeatedly deleting and replacing a section of text that had to do with a description of a critique of Austrian economics made by economist Paul Krugman.

The closer you look, the more the whole affair appears at first to be a demonstration of Sayre’s Law, which holds that “in any dispute the intensity of feeling is inversely proportional to the value of the issues at stake.” One side, which seems from the Talk page chronicling the argument to be just one very stubborn person, is objecting to the inclusion of Krugman’s critique on the grounds that what Krugman describes as Austrian economics doesn’t actually represent the reality of Austrian economics. In other words, it’s as if Krugman was saying “the problem with blue is that it is red.” Therefore, his views should not be included as an example of a valid critique. The other side is basically saying that Krugman is Nobel Prize-winning economist whose opinion is well worth including according to the standards of Wikipedia. So there. And back and forth the argument went, with lots of torturous discursions into the process weeds of Wikipedia editing policies, until it got too heated and provoked a lockdown.


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Reply "How Paul Krugman Broke A Wikipedia Page On Economics" By Andrew Leonard at Salon (Original post)
applegrove Feb 2013 OP
CTyankee Feb 2013 #1
Egalitarian Thug Feb 2013 #2

Response to applegrove (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 08:47 PM

1. I took one Econ course in grad school and the Austrian School stuff nearly broke my mind...

VonWeiser and BohmBawerk nearly put me over the edge. However, what I DID get from vonWeiser was the concept of "opportunity cost," which I feel is a helpful iidea.

I liked Pigou better (for his time) since I approve (generally) of the Pigouvian tax....

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Response to applegrove (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 10:29 PM

2. While Dr. Krugman's ideas are not beyond debate, the Austrian School is borderline


delusional. Von Mises was a third rate mind raving for dollars, who simply ignored every bit of information that didn't fit in his unstable model . I only wish there were more people with the interest and understanding to get into this.

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