Thursday, September 16, 2010

Malamute vs Reed

After listening to the “spirited” debate between Bernard Malamute (his parents must love dogs!) and the FEE president, it is certain that the debate between the two professors was quite the joke! There was obviously a better speaker/ debater and it just so happened to be that the video was posted on this person’s website and that the crowd seemed overwhelmingly Austrian! Not that I think this is unfair, because I would probably post videos of myself slaughtering my opponent online too, its just human nature! In any case, I did a little background search of the two men considered in the video and it turns out that one of them had a bachelors and masters in engineering and the other has had an extensive economics experience which includes getting put in prison for spending time with underground Polish anti-communists. Any guesses on which debater had more experience? All in all, it seemed a little unfair, perhaps a rigged debate, or maybe just a show put up for members of the FEE. I feel that there are perhaps better, more accomplished and charismatic Keynesian economists out there.
From the information or the lack there of that Malamute provided the one point that I liked was that about the gold standard. It was probably the best and only point that Malamute actually explained. It was definitely the only point that helped him justify an action that the government took and how it affected the economy in a positive way. His last comment was perhaps the worst in the history of “two old white guys debating about economics.” Malamute actually brought up the fact that the Supreme Court ruled the New Deal unconstitutional as his closing statement! It was like providing his opponent with an AK47 while trying to protect cute bunnies.
Another point that Malamute made really bothered me. He kept stressing about how FDR just walked into this situation, and that aspects of the New Deal were ready for him, the just needed to be put in place. It sounded like Malamute was giving excuses for why some of the policies that were criticized. He never even went into why they shouldn’t be criticized!
The second speaker, Dr Reed, made some very good points. I especially liked how he gave numbers, statistics and quotations to prove his point. I really gave some substance to his views, and it also helped that Malamute justified his viewpoint by saying, “but it worked”. Dr Reed talked largely about the “lunacy” behind FDR’s decision making skills. He spoke about how FDR was a, “man who knew so little about economics.” Firstly, I would like to point out that the President is usually just the person who enforces policy, he/she has advisors who actually do the thinking for them. If most Americans thought that the quantity of knowledge about economics was a priority to voting they would probably vote in an economist as President. The fact is that maybe to Reed FDR was a lunatic, however, some how people reelected FDR. Also Reed did not give reasons why this was lunatic of FDR? Reed thought that progressive tax policies were negative, and the audience was so biased that he did not even have to explain why this was a bad thing.

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