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Deep Thoughts on Hoax Publications

Summary:
Please do not misinterpret this blog post. I totally get THAT the revelations about a round of hoax publications are hilarious and serve to discredit the journals/disciplines involved. But I want to think more about WHY they have this effect. The quickest way to get my perspective across is to use a thought experiment. Consider the following articles: 1) Claims the legal system and even military defense should be privatized. 2) Argues in favor of selling kidneys to the highest bidder. 3) Argues that the US suffered from a housing undersupply in 2006. 4) Makes the case that Ben Bernanke had the tightest monetary policy since the 1930s. 5) Uses economics to develop a model in which human sacrifice is a rational practice. I submit that any normal red-blooded

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Please do not misinterpret this blog post. I totally get THAT the revelations about a round of hoax publications are hilarious and serve to discredit the journals/disciplines involved. But I want to think more about WHY they have this effect.

The quickest way to get my perspective across is to use a thought experiment. Consider the following articles:

1) Claims the legal system and even military defense should be privatized.

2) Argues in favor of selling kidneys to the highest bidder.

3) Argues that the US suffered from a housing undersupply in 2006.

4) Makes the case that Ben Bernanke had the tightest monetary policy since the 1930s.

5) Uses economics to develop a model in which human sacrifice is a rational practice.

I submit that any normal red-blooded American would think all five of the above were parodies. (Indeed, I myself am still waiting for Sumner to jump out and yell, “Surprise! You suckers, Murphy was the only one onto me all these years. I was kicking him under the table.”)

Does that affect the quality of their arguments or make us skeptical of the outlets that published these ideas?

Robert Murphy
Christian, Austrian economist, and libertarian theorist. Research Prof at Texas Tech and author of *Choice*. Paul Krugman's worst nightmare.

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