Alkibiades wrote:I took a brief look at his Wikipedia biography. I didn't notice any significant changes in position, so I'm not sure which sides he switched from.
Also, not to put to fine a point on it, it seems somewhat gratuitous to assume that people change their positions--especially public figures--because facts demand it. Or to assume that one's opponents are too blinded to be able to change theirs. There are ex-Austrians and ex-Keynesians and ex-Marxists and ex-Christians and ex-everything. Without knowing their reasons, I can't imagine how a change in position alone is evidence of trustworthiness. Greenspan, for example, went from being an Ayn Rand acolyte to policy maker for no apparent reason, except that he enjoyed politics.
It's no secret about Spanish youth unemployment. I don't know how that would make Krugman's position in any way more correct.
The switching sides thing was in his intellectual history of macro theory (that post on Bernanke) that I shared with you earlier.
I'm just saying I like seeing people who are flexible on their positions based on what they think is right. Knowledge is rarely ever a 100% kind of thing. It's usually just a best guess, and the best guess based on current knowledge rarely always stays 100% fixed through time, unless one is overly ideological and not inclined to look at new evidence with an open mind. Chances are that at some point, the opposing side will have 51% of the currently available evidence on their side at some point in time. So for me, "switching sides" is often evidence of intellectual flexibility. Or more aptly, never switching sides is often a sign of intellectual rigidity. Unless you really are 100% right. I know I'm not ever that right, not even close.
From what I read, Greenspan never stopped being a Randian. He did allow quite a bit of deregulation without much protest.