Gerry Jackson says that he supports the free-market, but he spends a lot of time attacking other free-market writers as ignorant, arrogant, selfish, incompetent, dishonest, cowardly and a “bloody disgrace”. He then whinges about being insulted and ignored.
He claims that he is “Australia’s only Austrian economist” when in reality he is neither trained in economics and nor does he understand basic economics. He then mocks real economists by saying they are “self-appointed”.
In his latest hit-piece, Gerry attacks Des Moore, Sinclair Davison, Chris Berg, Ron Manners and my paper on the carbon tax (a paper he clearly didn’t understand). But that is to be expected, so we can continue to ignore the personal attacks in his hate-filled rants. But the article is interesting for how it exposes Gerry’s ignorance of basic economics.
Gerry complains that Australian monetary policy has kept our exchange rate too high, and this has lead to the demise of our manufacutoring base. He also complains that the monetary policy has been too inflationary. But the poor sod doesn’t seem to notice that these two complaints contradict each other.
The only way for the reserve bank to drive up the exchange rate with a floating currency is for them to run a contractionary monetary policy. That is the opposite of inflationary monetary policy. So Gerry is simultaneously complaining that the reserve bank is printing too much money and they aren’t printing enough money. The only consistent theme is that Gerry is complaining.
Of course, one of the reasons that Australia’s manufacturing is in relative decline is that the comparative advantage of different nations is changing. This happens consistently as economies evolve over time. As some developing countries are able to exploit their advantages in manufacturing, other countries (like Australia) are diversifying into new opportunities. No problem.
Sinclair was nice enough to explain this to Gerry… but Gerry shows his continuing confusion by dismissing the theory of comparative advantage as “conceived within the framework of a gold standard”, as if this somehow stops it from working in today’s environment. No Gerry. We still have specialisation, and we still have gains from trade. After that, Sinclair wisely decided to give Gerry the respect he deserved, and started ignoring him.
I should probably do the same. But while he is out there preaching bad economics and insulting good economists it is occasionally necessary to give him the slap-down he deserves.