Monday, December 26, 2016

Could Not Agree More

What is Economics? That question is what was the start of this Blog. Now I am not an economist, nor do I pretend to affect any tenancy thereto. I have studied Economics, I have critiqued Economics, I have even disdained Economics. You see, unlike the real world, and one would think Economics is more real than anything, Economics is in today's world opinion and not science. It is a collection of idea, emboldened by mathematics, that state the way the world should work from the eyes of the presenter.

Now in a recent piece Skildelsky states:

What unites the great economists, and many other good ones, is a broad education and outlook. This gives them access to many different ways of understanding the economy. The giants of earlier generations knew a lot of things besides economics. Keynes graduated in mathematics, but was steeped in the classics (and studied economics for less than a year before starting to teach it). Schumpeter got his PhD in law; Hayek’s were in law and political science, and he also studied philosophy, psychology, and brain anatomy. Today’s professional economists, by contrast, have studied almost nothing but economics. They don’t even read the classics of their own discipline. Economic history comes, if at all, from data sets. Philosophy, which could teach them about the limits of the economic method, is a closed book. Mathematics, demanding and seductive, has monopolized their mental horizons. The economists are the idiots savants of our time. 

Indeed,  if Economists were first engineers, physicians, plumbers, carpenters, or some professions based in reality then perhaps so too would be there prognostications. Remember the employment rate curves sent out eight years ago by the Administrations incoming Economists. Never worked so what did they do? Changed the rules. Eliminated tens of millions from those looking for jobs. If your theory does not work, change the data.

Try that one on a bridge. Gravity is not as kind!