a Politburo for correct thinking
May 6, 2020, 5:34 pm
Filed under: brave new world | Tags: , , , ,


After the collapse of world markets in 2009, the banks, regulators, MBA and economics schools all came together and made policy changes and passed legislation to protect against such a cataclysm from happening again. Ha ha, no, actually no they didn’t. All systems are more or less the same and we are hurtling toward similar disasters timed every decade or so until the end of our lives.

The economics profession is like a Politburo – or a religion – only with less empirical evidence. Its sacramental formulas are proven wrong again and again, yet no changes are made, no recriminations rendered, no firings, no jail time. J. K. Galbraith puts it like this:

Leading active members of today’s economics profession … have formed themselves into a kind of Politburo for correct economic thinking. As a general rule – as one might generally 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 … No one loses face, in this club, for having been wrong. No one is dis-invited from presenting papers at later annual meetings. And still less is anyone from the outside invited in.

James K. Galbraith, as quoted in The Future: Recycled, No Future For You, The Baffler


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