Scott Sumner posts on the controversy, which was recently re-ignited by what I thought was a reasonable post by Russ Roberts. My thoughts.
1. There is a correlation between belief in Keynesian economics and preference for a larger government. Economists who advocate for higher government spending to fight recessions also tend to argue at other times either to increase or not reduce every non-military component of government spending.
2. Nonetheless, those economists who believe in Keynesian economics and generally support higher government spending usually will insist that they are not ideological. In their view, they are merely scientists, who are free from confirmation bias.
3. Any online discussion that employs the term “Keynesian economics,” “macroeconomic facts,” or “Paul Krugman” will, with probability one, be un-constructive and uncharitable.
I am becoming increasingly convinced that the Internet is making us stupid politically. On the Internet, there is an impulse to react immediately to political comments, which means engaging your emotions rather than any self-critical reasoning. There is an impulse to be uncharitable to those with whom you disagree. Some of my responses:
1. I try to schedule blog posts at least a day in advance. My goal is to react less to the “threat” posed by political disagreement.
2. I look for opportunities to challenge the views of other libertarians, although not as often as Tyler does.
3. Recently, I made a determination to avoid commenting on political issues on Facebook. In fact, I would love an app that filters out all political posts on Facebook. I prefer even the pointless cute animal posts. But I mostly just like pictures and personal status updates of friends’ weddings, travel, anniversaries, etc. At some point I may have to sort through and unfriend the folks who only post on politics.