Friday, January 15, 2010


Calling a Foul in the GMU / JMK Grudge Match

As longtime observers of the Geeconosphere League well know, in college hoops Team GMU has an old rivalry with Team JMK. On Team GMU we have starters Bryan Caplan, Russ Roberts, and Arnold Kling (who just transferred from another school in a weaker division), while on Team JMK we have Paul Krugman, Brad DeLong, and Matt Yglesias (who just got pulled up from the freshman team).

(At this point some of you are wondering about Tyler Cowen, the sportswriters' favorite GMU player. He actually decided to run track this year. And what team do I play for? Alas, I spend each game sitting on the bleachers behind the GMU bench, yelling to Coach Boettke: "Put me in! I got mad skills! I'll strip the ball from Yglesias, drive past DeLong, and dunk in Krugman's face!" Then Roberts always turns to Caplan and asks, "Who is that guy? Does he even go to our school?")

Anyway, Team GMU has been high fivin' each other over two consecutive turnovers they forced on Team JMK. The first involved a fast break by DeLong, when he was discussing Soviet growth rates, in which Caplan came out of nowhere and knocked the ball out of bounds off DeLong's knee. As the announcers explained during the replay, DeLong's mistake was that he naively assumed a socialist country would have the same production function and be able to match the growth rates of a market economy.

Then in another play that brought the GMU bench to their feet, a rookie and foreign exchange student intercepted a pass from Krugman to Yglesias. During the timeout, the commentators explained that Krugman and Yglesias, in their analysis of European growth rates, had idiotically (and deceptively) failed to note the well-known fact that poorer and more socialist countries would be expected to have higher growth rates.

So I'm calling a foul.

But again, I'm not a ref, just some guy in the bleachers. Don't let me spoil the game if you're a passionate GMU fan.

(And also, I bet against JMK, so I hope they still lose.)

I believe the rookie is wrong on one important issue. a progressive social policy will bleed into economic performance. Once the idea is accepted socially what can stop it from being applied in business? If then, our hope would be in the externalities caused both economically and ideologically?
I'm just hoping for a high-scoring, long-lasting game.
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