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As recommended by economists

February 20th, 2010 · Posted by Skuds in Politics · 6 Comments · Politics

I am starting to lose track of what all these economists are saying.  First we have 20 of them writing to the Sunday Times to say that the Tory policies of spending cuts is the only way forward, then another 67 economists write to the FT to say that policy would be a disaster. I am starting to suspect that economists are like passages in the bible – whatever your opinion, you can always find one to back it up.I reckon that if I put forward a spending plan to take next month’s wage packet and blow it entirely on crystal meth I could find an economist who thinks it is a good idea and I am starting to understand Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s low opinion of economists in his books.

While I might be happy that the second letter supports my party, and is signed by more ‘leading’ economists than the first one, I don’t think it means anything.  I would not be greatly surprised to find a letter to the Daily Star next week, signed by 300 more from the apparently limitless supply of experts who have yet another opinion.

Surely the only real impact any of this can have is on the credibility of economics as a science.


6 Comments so far ↓

  • Ash

    Given that most economists missed the present financial melt-down coming (only the biggest collapse since the 30’s) – surely their credibility is at an all-time low anyway.

  • Rob Glover

    The economists did indeed seem to go very quiet immediately after the financial meltdown.
    To me the job title ‘economist’ has about as much credibility as the title ‘nutritionist’ – as Ben Goldacre explains, ‘Dietitican’ is a protected term, but anyone – me, for example – can call themselves a nutritionist.

  • Danivon

    “Economics is extremely useful as a form of employment for economists.”
    JK Galbraith (economist)

  • Skuds

    Glad its not just me who thinks economists are a waste of space.

  • janeskuds

    I always thought that there are as many opinions, in any field, as there are ‘experts’.

  • Danivon

    In economics, the demand for opinions means that economists are producing them at quite a rate to keep up, meaning that there are far more opinions than economists.