Criticizing economists

Following is a quote from James K Galbraith at the start of the introduction to the book The End of Growth: Adapting to our New Economic Reality by Richard Heinberg and published in 2011 by New Society Publishers.  (Apparently James K. Galbraith is the son of John Kenneth Galbraith)

When I read this quote I thought this book has to be interesting and it is.  Hopefully there will be more from this book in later posts.

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 ….  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.  And when  finally they sense that some position cannot be sustained, they do not reexamine  their ideas.  They do not consider the possibility of flaw in logic or theory.  Rather, they simply change the subject.   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 any from the outside invited in.


Here are links to a couple of my own criticisms of economists: one, two.


If you liked this post your are invited to comment, press the like button and/or click  one of the share buttons. If you disagree you are invited to say why in a comment.  While I like the idea of sharing this platform, my personality is such that I don’t reply to many comments.

One Response

  1. Ha, Ha! How true! Human nature does not change, which is the basis of economic theory.

    One of the biggest disasters of the past 50 years has been the growth of mathematical economics. Regrdless of its utility, reality or truth.

    But economics does progress. If you want evidence of that buy modern boogs popularising economics such as ‘Pscho-econonomics”. These writers popularise recent developments in economics in a very amusing way.

    And yes, the application of economic policy has improved, but in the USespecially it has a long way to go.

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