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Neoclassical economists — a bunch of idiot savants

Neoclassical economists — a bunch of idiot savants – Editor

Lord Robert Skidelsky, October 2014
  • Good economists have always under- stood that this method has severe limitations. They use their discipline as a kind of mental hygiene to protect against the grossest errors in thinking …
  • Today’s professional economists have mostly studied almost nothing but economics. They don’t even read the classics of their own discipline. Economic history comes, if at all, from data sets. Philosophy, which could teach them about the limits of the economic method, is a closed book. Mathematics, demanding and seductive, has monopolized their mental horizons. Economists are the idiot savants of our time. “
  • Let’s be honest: no one knows what is happening in the world economy today. Recovery from the collapse of 2008 has been unexpectedly slow …
  • Policymakers don’t know what to do. They press the usual (and unusual) levers and nothing happens. Quantitative easing (QE) was supposed to bring inflation “back to target”. It didn’t. Fiscal contraction was supposed to restore confidence. It didn’t …
  • Most economics students are not required to study psychology, philosophy, history, or politics. They are spoon-fed models of the economy, based on unreal assumptions, and tested on their competence in solving mathematical equations. They are never given the mental tools to grasp the whole picture …
    Caricature of Ben Bernanke (Flickr cc)

    Robert Skidelsky (economic historian, and biographer of John Maynard Keynes)

    Source: https://larspsyll.wordpress.com/2016/12/25/economists-nothing-but-a-bunch-of-idiots-savants/

     

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