Thursday, April 21, 2011

People Talking Past Each Other

I am regularly struck by how bloggers so often want to pick fights with other bloggers.  Rather than giving others the benefit of the doubt, they often seem to interpret the writing of others in the worst possible light so they can then point out how foolish it is.  As an example, see
  1. This Steve Landsburg post
  2. Followed by this Brad DeLong critique
  3. And this Paul Krugman critique
  4. And Steve's two replies.
As far as I can tell, all Steve is saying is that the true incidence of a tax is not necessarily on the person who writes the check to pay the tax bill.  He just made the point in a particularly dramatic way.  At its heart, however, his point is pretty standard and hard to argue with.

FYI, more interesting to me is this Landsburg post, where Steve argues that a rich person who wants to raise taxes on the rich should be voluntarily paying more right now.  One example is the rich person who lives in very nice publicly-provided housing on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington DC.