Quote of the Day

Reacting to the unbelievable economic ignorance he has seen in recent campaign ads, Don Boudreaux writes

If astronomy operated similarly to politics, the world’s top astronomers would compete furiously amongst themselves to see who could most effectively assure the general public that the sun orbits around a stationary flat earth – a flat earth that was created just 4,000 years ago and which sits atop a tower of turtles.

  • JA

    How ironic that an economist is complaining how politicians understand, or not, economics.
    Let's be very clear, Obama's absolutely disastrous economic policies were conceived by mainstream academic economists (U.Chicago, Berkeley, Harvard, etc) using a combination of statistical models and economic theory.
    Of course, the FACT that economic theories are UNPROVABLE AND UNPROVEN and that economic statistical models, a priori, assume that many possible variables are not relevant to a particular analysis, and thus ignored, seems not to concern most economists.
    This is why we have the joke, the farce, of "liberal" and "conservative" economists; the absolute idiocy that food stamps and welfare have economic multipliers GREATER THAN 1; just to cite two instances particular to "economic science."
    It is mostly mainstream economists (and their financial economist brethren) whose advice was followed and gave the good citizens of the USA the Great Depression, the Dotcom and housing bust, the great inflation of the late 70s and early 80s, the disaster that was Long Term Capital Management (who followed economic NOBEL PRIZE winning strategies) , the notion that zero interest rates and unlimited govt. spending can revitalize a moribund economy, and an annual long term inflation rate of about 2.5% to 3% which renders today's dollar equivalent to that of $0.15 (15 cents !!!!!) in purchasing power in 1950.
    Yes, just leave it up to those PHD economists to steer us all into wealth and higher living standards.
    Oh, let's not forget that "steering" and "managing" an economy was tried for 70 years in the former USSR, 40 years in former communist E.Europe, 50 years - so far - in Cuba, 60 years in N.Korea, and what did the world learn????? That managing and controlling an economy spreads poverty, shortages and inferior products and services and provides greater power and authority to the ruling classes.
    NO ONE, NO PERSON, NO AGENCY, NO GOVT., NO GAGGLE OF PHD ECONOMISTS has the smarts to manage an economy. It simply is too complex (in the dynamical sense).
    And in Europe we have the fiasco - led by the economic geniuses that unfortunately for them paid attention to Keynesian and other USA devised economic theories - that suggest that all Greece, Spain, France, etc need do is INCREASE TAXES !!!! on populations that are experiencing massive unemployment to somehow get themselves out of the economic hell holes in which they reside.

    All these policies have the support of the vast majority of mainstream economists. And frankly, Obama's stupid, misleading campaign ad probably is in line with much of the mainstream economic thinking (think Krugman, Blinder, etc. Did you know that Krugman won the Nobel Prize ??).

    The only economist of the 20th century that actually knew a damn thing was Ludwig Erhard of Germany; in his wisdom he basically told JK Galbraith and other lefty (lefty?? I though economics was a science ??) economists - metaphorically speaking - to go to hell and he unleashed the postwar German economic miracle. He basically let the German people alone - untethered them from the ruinous economic policies imposed on them by Cambridge and Harvard; and the rest is history.

    Economics is junk science; akin to astrology. It is a sick joke. It is a tool used by power hungry politicians to expand their ruinous power hungry, life-destroying policies on the citizenry. Unfortunately, there is a never ending stream of PHD economists willing to provide the ideological ammunition to the inept, criminally negligent, tyrannical politicians.

    As a reward for helping politicians destroy the lives of its citizens, the economists then award each other Nobel Prizes.
    Give me a F'n break.

  • Gil

    Why? Unless the majority wanted a flat Earth cosmology.

  • Nehemiah

    Good rant JA. Well done. I would only take issue (small issue) with your statement that economic theories are "unprovable" or "unproven". The theories have been proven wrong over and over again. What we have is disingenuous economists that rationalize the poor results and ignorant "journalists" that don't care or know how to set the record straight.