Thursday, 18 November 2021

No apologies are offered for the undiplomatic style of some of the articles on this blog.

Reasons are as follows.

Adam Smith said, “People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the publick, or in some contrivance to raise prices.”

To illustrate, doctors in the US are quite clearly not motivated for the most part by a desire to save lives or cure diseases: their main aim in life is to screw as much money out of those with health problems as possible. One of the strategies they use to further that aim is to limit the number of people who can train as doctors and limit the number of foreign doctors entering the country. Hence their “generous” salaries. See e.g. here and here.

This sort of skullduggery takes a slightly different form in economics, where one of the main aims of economists is to maintain the dignity of the profession, despite the obvious and grotesque incompetence of some of those at the top of the profession. The purpose of maintaining dignity is first that it tends to result in more pay for economists, and second, it gives economists more political clout. Ken Rogoff's campaign to impose austerity type policies, which will have resulted in millions being unemployed over the last ten years who need not have been unemployed is a classic example.

In other words even where one or more economists know perfectly well that economist X is a complete pillock, they will never actually say so. The furthest they typically go is to say something like “I disagree ever so slightly with your third para.”

The net result is that incompetents get to to the top.

In contrast, I am not a member of the profession, and can thus perform the useful service (as indeed do others) of calling a pillock a pillock. I make no apologies for doing so.

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