Today, it’s nice to know that human beings are a lot more enlightened. We know that the dimensions of someone’s skull or nose don’t matter much in the way of intelligence or integrity.
And we can wonder with absolute incredulity how anyone could have passed off such nonsense as science.
Here’s the irony, though. In the future, they’ll wonder the same thing about us. The difference is that our faux-science is economics.
In the future, they’ll wonder with utter incredulity how these ridiculous assertions about conjuring money out of thin air and borrowing your way out of debt could possibly pass as science.
They’ll be mystified at how political leaders listen to these modern day soothsayers, directing national policy and robbing wealth from hundreds of millions of people based on this faux-science.
And they’ll be completely floored when they see that we actually award our most esteemed prizes to these men who tell us that we can spend our way out of recession and tax our way into prosperity.
To give you an example, I’ve just finished Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz’s new book The Price of Inequality in which he writes something that may be the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard from an economist:
“[T]he success of [Apple and Google], and indeed the viability of our entire economy, depends heavily on a well-performing public sector. There are creative entrepreneurs all over the world. What makes a difference. . . is the government.”
July 17, 2012
Guest Post: Quite Possibly The Dumbest Thing I’ve Heard An Economist Say
[I’ll grant that government makes a difference. A government that enforces contracts, protects the rights of individuals to own property, and to exchange in free trade is what makes for a thriving economy. Government involvement to a greater or lesser amount may reap short term benefits for some people but the long term result is a less successful economy and society.
Or as Presidential candidate Mitt Romney said, it’s both startling and revealing (H/T to son James) that the President of the United States also adheres to that philosophy:
President Obama either demonstrated profound ignorance and/or ill-intent and deserves all the ridicule he gets. He does not deserve to be president of anything in our country.—Joe]