Krugman, Stiglitz and their German nemeses can argue endlessly, and probably will. The only thing I’m sure of is that neither side can achieve the kind of scientific victory that, say, Copernicus won over the Ptolemaic model of planetary motion.

This ostensibly economic debate is being conducted amid uncertainty over such basic parameters as the multiplier effect of taxes and spending; the long-term impact of zero interest rates; and even “full” employment. (Come to think of it, does “austerity” even have a technical definition?)

It is also essentially about value judgments and trade-offs. Nobelists may be better qualified to describe the issues than the average voter, but they are no better qualified to decide them.