Niall Ferguson Has Not Admitted He Was Wrong About InflationHistorians in the News
tags: Niall Ferguson
Adam Ozimek is a contributor for Forbes.
Economic Historian Niall Ferguson is upset with Paul Krugman for lacking both civility and the humility to admit when he is wrong. I’m a fan of more civility and humility in the blogosphere, and I happen to agree that Krugman can be both uncivil and overconfident. But while in general I stand ready to support calls for humility and civility, Niall Ferguson himself needs to do a better job of admitting past mistakes, and until he does I don’t blame people for not taking his complaints seriously.
The problem is from 2010, when Ferguson had this to say about inflation:
And the reason the CPI is losing credibility is that, as economist John Williams tirelessly points out, it’s a bogus index. The way inflation is calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics has been “improved” 24 times since 1978. If the old methods were still used, the CPI would actually be 10 percent. Yes, folks, double-digit inflation is back. Pretty soon you’ll be able to figure out the real inflation rate just by moving the decimal point in the core CPI one place to the right.
This may look like a modestly benign claim, or at least no more controversial than arguments you hear about what the “true unemployment rate” is. But this is really much much worse.
comments powered by Disqus
- 500 Years After Expulsion, Sicily’s Jews Reclaim a Lost History
- Pollution Hurts Some People More Than Others. That’s Been True for Centuries.
- Do U.S. Strikes Send a ‘Message’ to Rivals? There’s No Evidence
- Why President Trump is probably right about the ‘ridiculous standard’ of the first 100 days
- Its location a mystery for centuries, huge Indian city is found in Kansas
- Rick Perlstein’s still drawing brickbats for his confession in the NYT that historians (like him) have misinterpreted modern conservatism
- “Historians are shockingly dismissive of people in ‘flyover country,’ ” says Pulitzer-winning historian T. J. Stiles
- UNC history department in uproar after a professor’s course on sports history was cancelled
- French bestseller is a dense history of France written by 122 academics
- ‘Sherlock Holmes of Armenian Genocide’ Uncovers Lost Evidence