Magazine October 5, 2009, Issue

Krugman’s Scapegoats

Princeton University professor Paul Krugman at Princeton University, October 13, 2008. (Tim Shaffer/Reuters)
Rebutting the Times columnist’s attempt to pin the market meltdown on the Chicago School

Hard times demand scapegoats. And demand in the scapegoat market is high right now, with economic malaise lingering after last year’s financial meltdown and bank bailouts. One much-abused scapegoat is the free-market economics of the Chicago School  (after the University of Chicago, where many of the school’s proponents made their academic home). The basher-in-chief is Princeton economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, who demanded, “How did economists get it so wrong?” in a recent essay. Krugman’s answer heaped scorn on his Chicago foes, who, he argues, were so blinded by the beauty of their mathematical models that they …

Richard A. Epstein — Mr. Epstein is a professor of law and director of the law-and-economics program at the University of Chicago. He is also a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, a visiting professor at NYU Law School, and the author of The Case Against the Employee Free Choice Act (Hoover Press).

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A reader argues that drug dealers are criminals — and if drugs were legalized, they would still be criminals.

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