February 7, 2021

Occasional Tweets: Economic agenda pushers ― a player substitution is not a Paradigm Shift


 Agenda Pushers / Politburo / Useful Idiots

Politburo pronouncement/directive: “It is a touchstone of accepted economics that all explanations must run in terms of the actions and reactions of individuals. Our behavior in judging economic research, in peer review of papers and research, and in promotions, includes the criterion that in principle the behavior we explain and the policies we propose are explicable in terms of individuals, not of other social categories.” (Arrow, Hundred and Sixth Annual Meeting of the American Economic Association, 1994, Methodological Individualism and Social Knowledge)
This lasted long, but now it's over.

“Why is this so? The reason is fairly clear. Leading active members of today's economics profession, the generation presently in their 40s and 50s, have joined together into a kind of politburo for correct economic thinking. As a general rule--as one might expect from a gentleman's club--this has placed them on the wrong side of every important policy issue, and not just recently but for decades. They predict disaster where none occurs. They deny the possibility of events that then happen. They offer a "rape is like the weather" fatalism about an "inevitable" problem (pay inequality) that then starts to recede. They oppose the most basic, decent, and sensible reforms, while offering placebos instead. They are always surprised when something untoward (like a recession) actually occurs.” (The American Prospect, James Galbraith, How the Economists Got It Wrong)

For more about agenda pusher/pushing see AXECquery.