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Reply #: The job of an economist is to believe, or at least make others believe, [View All]

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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-11-13 01:21 AM
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The job of an economist is to believe, or at least make others believe,
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that markets should determine policy and everything else in our lives.

Also to believe, or at least make others believe, that protecting markets and enriching job destroyers are the greatest possible societal goods.

In one of his plays (Henry IV, Part II), Shakespeare has one of his characters say, "'The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers."

I say, leave the lawyers alone. They've helped a lot of poor people and done a lot of social good by suing over dangerous products and fighting in court for the Bill of Rights, often for free or on contingency or for a lot less than they could make in corporate law firms.

School desegregation came about because an NAACP lawyer took the case to a bunch of former lawyers wearing black robes. Newspapers got rights to print things like the Pentagon Papers the same way. FOIA lawsuits force government to reveal things it would rather hide, etc.

But economists......

25 People to Blame for the Financial Crisis

Alan Greenspan
dek Photo Illustration; Greenspan: Alex Wong / Getty; Getty

The Federal Reserve chairman an economist and a disciple of libertarian icon Ayn Rand met his first major challenge in office by preventing the 1987 stock-market crash from spiraling into something much worse. Then, in the 1990s, he presided over a long economic and financial-market boom and attained the status of Washington's resident wizard. But the super-low interest rates Greenspan brought in the early 2000s and his long-standing disdain for regulation are now held up as leading causes of the mortgage crisis. The maestro admitted in an October congressional hearing that he had "made a mistake in presuming" that financial firms could regulate themselves.

Read more:,28... #ixzz2bddk5rnk

And, of course, there are politicians (public servants, my ass) like Bill Clinton, who said that he wanted repeal of Glass Steagall on his desk ASAP, thereby getting Democrats to vote for something they might otherwise have opposed, and Phil Gramm.

Like economists, they rationalize it all away.

And, perhaps even lower, are the lobbyists, like, well, Clinton and Gramm.

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