At a recent book signing, commenter Marcelo asked Krugman why we shouldn’t focus on monetary policy, given the difficulty of getting fiscal stimulus through Congress. Krugman responded, and then had this to say at about the 1:05:20 mark:
There are a handful of people, someone like Scott Sumner, who I would regard as in a lot of ways as the heir to Milton Friedman . . .
I’ll take that!
I won’t respond to the meat of his argument here, as I’ve already addressed that issue ad nauseum. Instead I’ll just remind readers that over the last three years I’ve occasionally argued that Paul Krugman is in lots of ways the heir to John Maynard Keynes.
I’m done with Krugman bashing. I’ve finally gotten over that slight from back in March 2009. It’s all respectful disagreement from now on.
PS. Let’s not see any spoilsport commenters claiming that Krugman meant I’m heir to Friedman’s policy views, and not his towering intellect and seminal contributions to macroeconomics.
PPS. The first economics book I ever purchased was Friedman and Schwartz’s Monetary History of the United States, 1867-1960. I remember pouring over all the data as a high school student.
PPPS. I went to Chicago in September 1977 hoping to study under Friedman. I liked his “partial equilibrium” approach to problems. When I arrived I discovered that he’d left a few months earlier. If he’d stayed it’s likely that he would have been my dissertation adviser. As it was I had to “settle” for Lucas.
PPPPS. I just opened a copy of my Monetary History, and found this letter from Milton Friedman inside (dated May 28, 1994–the day I got married in Beijing):
Dr. Mr. Sumner:
In cleaning up a pile of answered and unread material that had accumulated, I came across your letter of July 7, 1993 and the enclosed article. I write now simply to apologize for not having acknowledged receipt of the article or having been able to provide you with any comments on it.
Sorry that that was the case,
Senior Research Fellow
And people wonder why I answer the comments.