I’m pretty down on economists these days. Actually, it’s “authoritative” public-policy macroeconomists that most invoke my ire. I’m not as bad as Nassim Taleb though. Among Taleb’s many econo-bombs, one from “Fooled by Randomness,” the first of his best-selling trilogy, is a favorite: “Economists are evaluated on how intelligent they sound, not on a scientific measure of their knowledge of reality.”
Relatedly, I have two beefs with policy-promoting macroeconomists. The first is that many consider their discipline a hard science, when it’s in fact anything but. Physical scientists often condescend that economists suffer from physics envy. And, as if to prove that, macroeconomics has evolved to very mathematically-sophisticated models, most of which prove quite naïve – as was amply demonstrated four and a half years ago. It’s a damn shame reality gets in the way of elegant models. Indeed, if you wish to study economics at the graduate level from a top school now, you better have the equivalent of an undergraduate math degree to even apply.
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