Alan Reynolds says "not to panic on inflation," which is a pretty sure sign that inflation is about to explode. In researching for my list of pundits/experts who were wrong about the housing bubble, I found that no one was more comically wrong than Alan Reynolds. For example, Reynolds wrote in the Washington Times in 2005:
In short, we are asked to worry about something that has never happened for reasons still to be coherently explained. 'Housing bubble' worrywarts have long been hopelessly confused. It would have been financially foolhardy to listen to them in 2002. It still is.Those silly "worrywarts" and their crazy "housing bubble" conspiracies! Don't they look stupid now! Elsewhere, Reynolds ridiculed "housing bust zealots" for being "nonsensical." By any objective standard, Reynolds should not have a job as an "expert" on anything anymore. But I'm kind of glad he didn't immediately lose his job, because his archive of op-eds is a comedic goldmine. Remember, Reynolds is the person who still denies that income inequality has increased in the U.S. over the past 25 years. He's the leader of what Justin Fox aptly describes as "the strange fantasy world of income-inequality denialists." All of his feeble criticisms of the famous Picketty-Saez results have been thoroughly refuted not only by Paul Krugman, Brad DeLong, and Mark Thoma, but also by Picketty and Saez themselves. But Reynolds soldiers on, undeterred by all those pesky facts and logic-based arguments. Perhaps my favorite op-ed in his collection is the one where he tried to take on both Ed Lazear and Ben Bernanke, who had acknowledged that income inequality has, in fact, been rising. This brings new meaning to the phrase, "bringing a knife to a gunfight." But income inequality and the housing bubble aren't the only issues Reynolds knows nothing about. Regarding Hillary Clinton's proposal to freeze mortgage rates for up to 5 years, Reynolds writes:
That has to be unconstitutional—the government can't blithely rewrite the terms of two private parties' contract.The government can actually rewrite the terms of two parties' private contract. The Contracts Clause doesn't prevent the federal government from impairing private contractual rights, so long as the federal government is acting within its constitutional authority (e.g., regulating interstate commerce under the Commerce Clause). Moreover, the Fifth Amendment due process clause only prevents the federal government from impairing private contractual rights in an "arbitrary and irrational" way (which is extremely difficult to prove). In fact, during the Great Depression, the Supreme Court in Home Building & Loan Assn. v. Blaisdell upheld a state law that was very similar to Hillary's proposal, and state laws impairing private contracts face much stricter judicial scrutiny than federal laws. So add "the law" to the list of topics Reynolds knows absolutely nothing about. Amazingly, Reynolds ends one of his op-eds with this:
I sometimes wish that people who don't know what they're talking about would simply refrain from talking.I know what you mean.