Published On: Mon, Oct 25th, 2010

Libertarians challenge Paul Krugman to debate Austrian economist Robert Murphy

Libertarians frustrated by what they view as the lack of engagement by arch-Keynesian Paul Krugman with their arguments have come up with a clever ploy: they’re promising to donate $100,000 to the Fresh Food Program of FoodBankNYC.org if Krugman will debate one of their stars.

The idea is meant to bribe and shame Krugman into debating Robert Murphy, an economist trained in the Austrian school of economics.

Basically, if Krugman refuses to debate Murphy, it will be tantamount to depriving the FoodBank of $100,000. What good liberal would want that on his conscience?

To make the debate even more enticing, the proponents have promised to have it moderated by Ezra Klein, the Washington Post’s liberal policy-wonk blogger.

The libertarian-oriented Austrian school of economics is critical of central banking, easy money and government stimulus spending, which it claims distorts the economy, causes booms and busts and prevents a healthy recovery. Krugman’s views are almost diametrically opposed to those of the Austrians, favoring stimulus spending in conjunction with a looser monetary policy to create a smoother path to economic recovery.

Krugman did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment on the challenge.

Someone made a clever video explaining the debate and the strategy behind the promised FoodBank donation.

Paul Krugman caricature cartoon

Paul Krugman Photo/donkeyhotey.wordpress.com

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