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View Diary: Killing Sacred Liberal Cows, or What Economists Think About the Economy (105 comments)

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  •  Diarist, as I mentioned above... (1+ / 0-)
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    and I won't repeat myself here, I may have been a little insensitive and overly aggressive in dismissing your diary, and for that I apologize.

    Now to your points above. First,

    I suspect that the economist's acceptance of any of these policies includes knowledge of factors that you and I are ignorant of.
    To be frank, and I mean this in the least offensive way possible, you don't know me or my background. I don't mean that in any kind of arrogant or dismissive way, but just as a simple matter of fact. Without getting into the details about myself and my life, applied economics, econometric modeling, and economic policy research methods was a major part of my graduate studies. That's not to say I am an expert, but I know "economic opinion based on little more than personal beliefs hidden behind the pass we give those with credentials" when I see it. Anyone will tell you that even things you've researched before, details slip away and need to be refreshed occasionally. I keep my micro-economics references close at hand for exactly this reason. I know theory pretty well, and I have at least some working knowledge of what is purely theory, what is still an open question, and what has empirically validated research behind it that renders it relatively irrefutable.
    I suspect that each economists cited already knows thoroughly the relevant literature and the models when stating their opinions.
    Perhaps. Economics, like many fields in academia, has really been driven into extreme specialization. Most economists have a (very) niche area that they work in and know well enough to have the most recent and relevant work in mind when they form opinions or make their case. Beyond that, said economists have enough working knowledge of fundamental theory to comment on things, but that doesn't mean they have the weight of expertise behind them, and it certainly doesn't make their view "reality-based" or definitive. Given the major disagreements on all of these issues in the broader economics field, the ambiguity of the theories informing them, and the thinness of a lot of the empirical research, it's obvious this panel either was not appropriately vetted for expertise or were vetted for a specific set of positions to imply unity and consensus where there isn't much.

    Blogs: Twitter: realsteveholt

    by steveholt on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 07:46:48 PM PST

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