James Galbraith on Economists

July 1, 2012

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Leading active members of today’s economics profession… have formed themselves into a kind of Politburo for correct economic thinking. As a general rule—as one might generally expect from a gentleman’s club—this has placed them on the wrong side of every important policy issue, and not just recently but for decades. They predict disaster where none occurs. They deny the possibility of events that then happen. … They oppose the most basic, decent and sensible reforms, while offering placebos instead. They are always surprised when something untoward (like a recession) actually occurs. And when finally they sense that some position cannot be sustained, they do not reexamine their ideas. They do not consider the possibility of a flaw in logic or theory. Rather, they simply change the subject. No one loses face, in this club, for having been wrong. No one is dis-invited from presenting papers at later annual meetings. And still less is anyone from the outside invited in.

Ironically, Galbraith heaps praise on Paul Krugman, who yes, often accurately calls crises, because the policies he recommends creates them. He is, after all, a disciple of Asimov, a science fiction writer whose ideas center around using science to control the universe.

Full Article: Who Are These Economists, Anyway? by James K. Galbraith (PDF)

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