…economics? or, alchemy?…

…if we consider that there are economists with a cause and economists with analysis, and even economists with insufficient analysis, we learn to discard  (or not buy) the chaff…

Two articles from different directions merit a glance.

In the area of macroeconomics we find an article that sheds light on the design and implementation of macroeconomic policy. Simple and straightforward – having only a hammer or having expertise in using only that hammer does not make everything a nail, when the task at hand is to repair a leaking faucet or to treat a wound.

It is all the more serious when the policy is directed to benefit mainly the more influential class of society to the detriment of the less fortunate – where the culprit, in this case the financial sector, is promptly bailed out and enabled, and the victims, the unemployed and increasingly disadvantaged, pay to support the earlier and continuing transgressions of that sector. An example, the latest unemployment rate, for the Eurozone, 12.1%; Spain, 26%; Greece, 27.5% – rates that have generated no sense of urgency to remedy the problem in the affected countries, as focus remains on austerity.

Mike Konczal comes to the rescue over at next new deal, despite the esoteric-sounding title of the post, Two Simple Reasons to Not Fight Bubbles With Higher Interest Rates.

In the area of microeconomics, Tim Taylor over at conversable economist uses the US Thanksgiving Day celebration to explain supply and demand for the holiday victuals. The analysis highlights the importance of data and how the data are transformed into charts and tables that complement or reinforce the analysis. Aside a minor typo, he offers something to chew on with his, An Economist Chews Over Thankgiving. 

So, then, once the likelihood of ideology or ignorance in economic discourse is considered, economics comes across not as indiscipline or alchemy but rather as the discipline that it is. Charlatans do abound.

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