Friday, April 26, 2013

Why are Economists so Nasty?

I have been following the Reinhart and Rogoff debate. Now I have done thousands of spread sheets over the years, more likely tens of thousands. Once I was interviewing a person as head of my M&A group in a start up and I was explaining something to him. He found an error in my Excel spread sheet and then told me. I hired him on the spot. For two reasons, first, he found the error and corrected it, and second, he told me, especially during an interview. Now he did go to IIT in India and he did have an MBA from Chicago. Neither did I hold against him. After all, I am told in India if you cannot get into IIT then you try MIT.  It was sort of the Avis of high tech.

But still as I read some of the comments they are so vitriolic that one wonders if economics is no more than some religious cult. I have never seen such a battle over say the force balances on a three element truss! Maybe there is a "discussion" over the true function of PTEN on a cancer pathway but the way out is through experiment. It is not a belief set but a fact set.

Now this battle highlight several things about economists. First the left leaning ones are real nasty. Second, there are no facts behind the theory. Third, the Canadians are real nice.