This is one of those naughty little contretemps I just cannot resist reporting on. So, Charles Rowley of George Mason has been posting "on the State of Macroeconomics" in the past few days. One post was not too unreasonable, slamming the longstanding assumption in favor of rational expectations, http://charlesrowley.wordpress.com/2010/01/10/how-macroeconomics-lost-its-way-1-theory-ignores evidence. The third of these, which can be linked through http://www.coordinationproblem.org/2010/01/charles-rowley-on-the-state-of-macroeconomics, (new name for The Austrian Economists) is a much less admirable and defensible affair, although he made a better case for himself in some of his comments. It is basically a weak anti-Keynesian screed that includes the following quotation: "The Keynesian model never worked; and never will work. It has been resuscitated by opportunistic economists, not because they believe in its merits as an agent of macroeconomic rehabilitation, but because they recognize its political value as a weapon for moving economics from laissez-faire capitalism, or (hopefull) beyond to fully-fledged socialism."
Now there is much to criticize in those remarks alone, along with the rest of the post. However, Brad DeLong proceeded to make a complete fool of himself by jumping in on this with the following comment: "Why do you lie about what I think?" Rowley then very reasonably pointed out that he named no names in his mostly egregious post, but this triggered DeLong to call him a "coward." When Peter Boettke reposted and linked this on Coordination Problem, Brad jumped in there also to accuse Boettke of lying. This is a pathetic decline for Brad, who has long had a record of excessively deleting comments (and I think most of what he posts is very intelligent). Really too bad.
Rowley's further explanation, which made some sense, although it was not in his original post, was that he was annoyed with economists who had been labeling themselves "New Keynesians," which models do generally assume some ratex, but who were now advocating old-fashioned "hydraulic Keynesianism" in the current situation. He said that there were many such who had this inconsistency problem, not just Brad, although he said he had no problem with genuine "old Keynesians" who had never lost their faith, mentioning Robert Solow in particular by name. Whoosh!