Saturday, March 7, 2009

Glass Houses Alert

by the Sandwichman

Paul Krugman groans about the news media's penchant for one-sided debate
One major sin of news coverage, especially on TV, is the way certain points of view just get excluded from consideration — even if many of the best-informed people hold those views. Most famously and disastrously, the case against invading Iraq was just not heard in the months before the war.
And one major sin of economics education and the public discourse of economics is the way certain points of view just get excluded from consideration. The perspective that work time reduction might be a key part of a progressive economic recovery strategy — as Keynes pointed out, one of three ingredients of a cure and the ultimate solution — is not only excluded, it is ridiculed by economists as a lump of labor fallacy. I’ve researched the alleged fallacy and I’ve found the claim to be fraudulent. The results of my research have been published in the Review of Social Economy as “Why Economists Dislike a Lump of Labor”. I’ve even offered a $10,000 prize if someone could refute my rebuttal and get it published in a leading economics journal. No takers of course.

Meanwhile, Dean Baker has offered a policy proposal for reducing working time as part of an economic recovery package. Just listen to the spirited discussion among economists of Dean’s proposal! What’s that you say? Silence? Oh.

1 comment:

Barkley Rosser said...


Congratulations on the publication of your article. Does it discuss the case of the effort in France to reduce work hours? Many observers have claimed that this effort did not do much to change the unemployment rate, and there are ongoing complaints by people who would like to work longer hours against it. Thoughts on that?