Economists with Pseudo-Knowledge

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

Arnold Kling is shocked at the behavior of his fellow economists during this crisis, because those economists are claiming to know much more than they do about causes and solutions — but he saves his harshest words for the macroeconomists who haven’t worked toward understanding the “real economy” at all:

But the economics profession for the past thirty years instead focused on producing stochastic calculus porn to satisfy young men’s urge for mathematical masturbation.

Economists ought to admit that we do not know much about what is going on today. Neither do the Fed Chairman and the Treasury Secretary. Of course, the market demand is for “strong” leaders and for “strong” economists, who can fool the public into believing that they have great knowledge. The ones who do this best are those who have fooled themselves.

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