Friday, November 23, 2012
It Would Be Nice If Economists Were Regarded As Well As Dentists Are Regarded
Economists failed to predict the financial crisis, and the global economic crises that followed in its wake. Many are also working hard to make the recovery even worse than it might be. Keynes once said that economist's should strive to as competent as dentists. If they did that, they might be more highly regarded. It seems that many economists prefer to apply theory to economic problems that they don't understand. Most of the theories aren't very good, and economists do a poor job of using them to predict the future. Perhaps we would be better off if economists tried to be more like dentists. They should avoid forecasting, and they should not try to set economic policies. The public must wonder about what goes on in the profession when economists disagree so vehemently over public policy, and they cannot even get their facts right. Many economists seem to be in the business of interpreting facts so that they are consistent with their political philosophies. Many are even paid by think tanks that employ them for that purpose. This article displays some the silliness of well known economists who can't even report what the Fed is saying about policy with any accuracy.