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Golden Straw Man

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In response to this note [2] that Paul Krugman has in the current issue of The New York Review of Books, I sent this letter:

Dear Editor:

Discussing Milton Friedman’s monetary economics, Paul Krugman says that “he showed himself much less doctrinaire and much more realistic than many of his acolytes: many conservative economists are drawn to visions of a restored gold standard or a world currency, dismissing the problems such a system would create” (Letter, April 12).

Krugman utterly distorts the views of market-oriented economists.  Only a tiny, insignificant fringe advocates a gold standard.  Many more – influenced by the works of F.A. Hayek [3], Ben Klein [4], Gordon Tullock [5], Larry White [6], George Selgin [7], and Kevin Dowd [8] – support competition among money issuers.  This proposal is as far from advocacy of a gold standard or a “world currency” as one can get.

Krugman’s creation and destruction of straw men is deplorable.

Donald J. Boudreaux