“I am not a defender of socialism or big government!” — Paul Krugman
It was billed as the Dream Debate of the Century, and it did not disappoint. More than 2,000 people poured into the Celebrity Ballroom at Planet Hollywood, Las Vegas, for the explosive debate between Paul Krugman and Steve Moore. Krugman is the #1 New York Times columnist, Nobel Prize winner and foremost Keynesian economist today. Steve Moore is the #1 Wall Street Journal columnist and supply-side economist for the Heritage Foundation. The two are the most prominent proponents of two differing perspectives on the economic policies of the United States.
The debate theme was “How can we best restore the American dream?” The general session lasted an hour and the two argued on a variety of issues — ObamaCare, austerity vs. stimulus, blue state vs red state, the minimum wage and who was the greater economist, Keynes or Adam Smith. (Both agreed it was Adam Smith, but Krugman thought Keynes was a close second and Adam Smith was not a pure advocate of laissez faire.)
Krugman denied he was a socialist or advocate of big government, yet he defended ObamaCare, Dodd-Frank, deficit spending, higher taxes and a higher minimum wage. Moore made the case that lower taxes, deregulation and sound money were the keys to higher economic growth.
When it came to the final question about the best policies to restore the American dream, I asked Krugman about MIT professor Rudi Dornbusch. He said that Dornbusch was his favorite professor and mentor who guided him through his Ph.D. I then shared an article Dornbusch had written in late 1996 wherein he criticized supply-side taxes (something Krugman would endorse) and then advocated two policy changes to increase long-term economic growth: privatizing Social Security and allowing school choice. Krugman was shocked at my “gotcha” moment. He finally responded, “Well, Rudi did not always know what he was talking about.”
FreedomFest is such a huge event that it is impossible to do it justice here. I can’t begin to tell you how much fun people had. One person called it Christmas in July! It was great seeing so many subscribers and members of the Winner’s Circle there.
This year’s program was electrifying with more than 250 speakers. To see what you missed, review the list of sessions and how to buy individual CDs or MP3s of them at www.miracleofamerica.com. Each session costs only $5, or buy the entire FreedomFest program for only $450!
This Friday evening, the Stossel show taped at FreedomFest will be shown on Fox Business. He interviewed Steve Wynn, John Mackey, Andy Puzder (CEO, Carl’s Jr.), Star Parker, Grover Norquist and two Cato experts, Chris Edwards and Dan Mitchell. Don’t miss it!
Media Alert: FreedomFest Made Playboy!
See the article at http://www.playboy.com/articles/libertarians-freedomfest.
I only wished the Playboy editor had seen the “Is the American Dream Lost?” debate, in which Alex Green convinced 100% of the audience that the Dream is alive and well.
You Blew It! Paul Krugman and Major Media Miss out on Dream Debate of the Century
The Krugman-Moore Dream Debate at this year’s FreedomFest was a triumph, but it was disappointing in two ways.
First, it’s too bad the national media wasn’t much interested in our Dream Debate of the Century. It is a sad commentary on our major media that only C-SPAN sought to cover our big debate between Steve Moore and Paul Krugman. It was a great debate that involved substantial issues. We almost filled the ballroom with the debate, but it was nothing like the interest in Donald Trump and his political issues on Saturday, when we filled the ballroom with 2,500 people.
Even more disappointing was the fact that Krugman nixed C-SPAN covering the debate. It was in our contract with Krugman from the beginning that no TV coverage would be allowed without permission. When C-SPAN expressed interest in covering the big debate a week or so before the event, given the high-profile nature of the two debaters, both C-SPAN and I begged Krugman and his agency to reconsider, and they refused. Incredible. Everyone, including C-SPAN officials, was shocked by the decision. After all, how could anyone turn down a national institution like C-SPAN, known for providing truly fair and balanced coverage? As Peter Slen told me, C-SPAN has covered Paul Krugman on many occasions. It made no sense.
Maybe he was afraid of losing the debate, which he did (70% voted in favor of Steve Moore, although more switched sides to Krugman at the end, so they both could claim victory).
I will be attending the San Francisco MoneyShow beginning today, July 16, through the 18th, at the Marriott Marquis. To register, click here. Mention priority code 038970.
In case you missed it, I encourage you to read my e-letter column from last week on Eagle Daily Investor about the incompetence of the Greek government. I also invite you to comment in the space provided below my Eagle Daily Investor commentary.
Good investing, AEIOU,
Presidential Fellow, Chapman University