Monday, January 23, 2012

Noah Smith on the Seven Principles for Arguing with Economists

A terrific piece, according to Paul Krugman. Some of the principles need not be specific to economics; an example:

Principle 1: Credentials are not an argument.

Example: "You say Theory X is wrong...but don't you know that Theory X is supported by Nobel Prize winners A, B, and C, not to mention famous and distinguished professors D, E, F, G, and H?"

Suggested Retort: Loud, barking laughter.

Alternative Suggested Retort: "Richard Feynman said that 'Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.' And you're not going to argue with HIM, are you?"

Reason You're Right: Credentials? Gimme a break. Nobody accepts received wisdom from sages these days. Show me the argument!