Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Why are Economists Leftists?

I didn't know this. I always thought if you studied economics, then you would be a conservative or libertarian. And the only way you could be a "leftist economist" is if you willfully choose to ignore empirical data and shill yourself out like Krugman to capitalize on a market of ignorant people who want economic rationales as to why socialism works.


Anonymous said...

I would guess, that of the economists interviewed, a large proportion of them either were academia, or had ties to an academic institution. That would automatically skew the data to the left.

Anonymous said...

Concerning #8 thing economists won't tell you ("We have an agenda"), perhaps if it's de rigueur for physicians to report their affiliations with drug companies and other financial ties in medical journal articles, then economists ought to report their stock portfolios as a condition of authorship as well?

Concerning #10 ("We're a decade away from recovery.") I disbelieve their explanation: "the number of jobs in manufacturing continues to erode because of globalization and automation". Various charts of recession durations by year of onset have led me to wonder if the pattern of longer and longer recessions since the 1940s are attributable to greater and greater federal intervention and attempts to 'fix' them. Are we sure it's due to them foreigners, Pogo?
Bill K.

Anonymous said...

good article and true.

If you want to make the big bucks and wield power as a economist, you go to work teaching in an Ivy League school and get into government service, none of which fit a conservative or libertarian view. But those roles fit an activist, liberal view. And when the economy is in trouble, everyone wants actions to fix it.

I'm beginning to see economics as being a pseudo-science. There does not appear to be any absolute, accepted "laws" of economics, just a bunch of theories which have dubious evidence that they may work. The effects of policy is not clear, the unintended consequences are unknown, and frankly, as long as the economy is performing adequately, economists sit on it because they can't predict the future impact of their current policy.

A free market economist would be one who would have to admit the limits of government economic policy - in essence minimizing his impact and his career.

In a real science, computer models and simulations would be created and enhanced over time to help with policy analysis and predicting economic results based on those policies.

I wouldn't get too dismal about those who study the dismal "science" - everyone knows they're buffoons and are guessing their way.

For the record though, the NABC recently polled its members and the vast majority (70%) did not support the Obama Admin's economic policy

OrphanWilde said...

"[Wealth is] not what [capitalism is] -about-. If you start thinking it's -about- the massive wealth, you'll start focusing on other ways of achieving the wealth, and generally fuck shit up trying to optimize a chaotic evolutionary system that I, with my genius-level IQ and no shortage of ego, know better than to think I could improve upon."

Economists suffer the same problem as every profession - belief in their own abilities to make better decisions in matters pertaining to their field than the general populace acting in aggregate.

Jack Amok said...

...the only way you could be a "leftist economist" is if you willfully choose to ignore empirical data and shill yourself out...

Cap, willfully ignoring data and shilling yourself out is the only way to be a leftist anything.