A Talmudic Dispute Between two Rabbis of our Economy, Tim Geithner and Paul Krugman

The Talmudic blogger relishes a crisp, clear Talmudic debate between two leading authorities.

The ancient rabbis who disputed, for instance, the order of the rituals of the Sabbath meal, based their opinions on competing theories and expressed their preferences for practice in concrete prescriptions. Do things this way and not that way. Yet always, the rabbis engaged in clear disputes over processes with the same intention - to serve the best interests of the people of Israel.

So it would appear the rabbis of our nation's economic theory are engaged right now in an intense dispute over the order of the economy.

Rabbi Tim Geithner (no, he's not Jewish, see our post) representing a legitimate and learned stream of thinking, says do things according to the theory and prescriptions of a plan which he presented in its fine details here in a WSJ op-ed ("My Plan for Bad Bank Assets").

Rabbi Paul Krugman (yes he is Jewish, but that is beside the point here) representing an alternate sage and respected way of logic, says no, do not do things that way, because it is bad in theory and in action, a case he presented in its refutation here in a Times op-ed ("Financial Policy Despair").

Both masters, utterly critical and argumentative in their presentations, wish to serve the interests of the nation. Their wisdom deserves our study.

And ultimately, like the Talmud, our blog here just canonizes and analyzes them, but does not resolve the outcome of the disputes.


Richard said...

I am going to go with Rabbi Paul Krugman on this, not because he shares my namesake, but because he is right in his sense of despair. The problem with Tim Geithner’s plan is that it smacks of collusion with the very people who got us into this mess in the first place. And it says nothing of the moral hazard of valuing assets, which are essentially valueless, all while guaranteeing them with future taxpayers’ money. This will lead to inflation on an unprecedented scale. Clearly Obama is squandering the good will that has been extended to him early in his presidency. Unfortunately, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Talmudist said...

Where's the back-and-forth?

drewdude said...

Was the Talmudic reference in response to my recent post?