Well, the other day, Brad DeLong of Berkeley, along with Paul Krugman, ganged up on Bob because he made what turned out to be an incorrect forecast of inflation rates. Bob expected price inflation to be considerably greater than it has been. He has admitted his mistake, noted that he is not infallible, and and in general behaved the way we would expect from any scholar, who will inevitably make a mistake somewhere along the line.
DeLong and Krugman, meanwhile, are pretending that an incorrect inflation forecast invalidates the entire apparatus of the Austrian business cycle, when in fact such predictions have nothing whatever to do with Austrian business cycle theory and next to nothing to do with the Austrian School in general. These men are likewise claiming that it’s perfectly all right and no embarrassment at all for Keynesian Christina Romer to have been completely wrong in her predictions regarding how low the unemployment rate would fall in the wake of the Obama stimulus package, but Bob should hang his head in shame forevermore.
Now Bob is a gentleman almost to a fault, and you will notice a difference in tone between Bob’s blog and those of DeLong and Krugman. Bob can be very critical of other scholars, but he is never childish or uncharitable, he never attacks straw men, and he is quite prepared to concede good points his opponents may have. This is not exactly Paul Krugman’s modus operandi, needless to say.
So I was thrilled to see Bob’s take-no-prisoners response. You will enjoy this. Bob’s command of his opponents’ views, and not just his own, serves him well.