Paul Krugman is a little butt hurt after his debate with Ron Paul and has taken a little time to blog about it:
Think about it: you approach what is, in the end, a somewhat technical subject in a format in which no data can be presented, in which there’s no opportunity to check facts (everything Paul said about growth after World War II was wrong, but who will ever call him on it?).
Notice that Krugman is complaining about the useless nature of face-to-face debates because it doesn’t give the debaters an opportunity to present data or perform fact checking. I’ve seen plenty of debates between people who have presented a great deal of data to back their claims and given citations for their sources so people can check what they’ve said afterwards but I’m going to give Krugman this point for one reason… he shoots himself in the foot.
First he complains about his inability to present data or verify facts presented by Ron Paul then he states what Ron Paul said about growth after World War II was false but doesn’t actually provide any proof of his statement. It’s a damned blog post Krugman, you have plenty of opportunity to make your argument and present your facts since you’re not under the pressure of an opposing debater. If you’re going to complain about face-to-face debates because they don’t give an opportunity to check facts then criticize the person you debated you should actually present some data that backs your statement. You have a platform to make your argument and you totally blow it.
If Ron Paul got on TV and said “Gah gah goo goo debasement! theft!” — which is a rough summary of what he actually did say — his supporters would say that he won the debate hands down; I don’t think my supporters are quite the same, but opinions may differ.
Actually, if you watch the debate, Ron Paul was a little more elegant than “Gah gah goo goo debasement! theft!” Once again I will point out that Krugman has plenty of opportunity to backup his statement on his blog article but totally ignores it. I also like the fact that Krugman believes his supporters are different than Ron Paul’s supporters as far as reactionary positions are concerned. I guess Krugman loves a little conformational bias in his statements.
So why did I do it? Because I’m trying to publicize my book, which does have lots of data and facts — but those data and facts don’t matter unless I get enough people to read it.
I’ll give Krugman a point for honesty and admitting he just did the debate to publicize his book but take away points for failing to publicize his book. A debate would have been the perfect place to cite his new book for arguments. He could have said, “As I’ve written in my new book your statement about growth after World War II is false. You see…” and he could have presented his argument from there.
Krugman basically entered a debate to publicize his book, failed to publicize his book, failed to make any valid points during his discussion and then proceded to write a blog post about how pointless debates are without actually taking an opportunity to demonstrate his argument by presenting facts to backup his claims. I think this guy is the poster child for the meaningless nature of Nobel Prizes (which Krugman won one of in the field of economics).