The Flinchum File
Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions

F

09/10/2018

Economists have flunked and have let America down!  All we have done is provide the intellectual ruse that the two political parties use to indulge their worst impulses.

For the Republicans, we have provided “supply-side” economics, which argues that all tax cuts improve the economy at all times and under all circumstances.  For the Democrats, we have provided “Keynesian” economics, which argues that increased spending will improve the economy at all times and under all circumstances.  We have produced two flawed religions!

How do we redeem ourselves, after doing all this damage?  We could continue to educate, but my face already has a bluish hue from trying to convert true believers into a less absolutist view of economic theories.  Probably, we should focus on the policy level, instead of the education level.  For example, no more tax cuts without concurrent spending cuts, and no hypothetical, unreliable “dynamic scoring” for estimates.  Another example would be requiring a 0.1% decrease in spending each year from each department, and “non-discretionary spending” become discretionary.  There are numerous other suggestions but none are on the legislative priority list for either party.  The political battles will be vicious but more important than a Supreme Court nomination in the long run.

If we must give up on education, what grade do economists deserve?

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