Posts Tagged ‘economics’

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Wed Aug 19th 2009 at 6:37pm UTC

Economics and Ideology

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

Political scientist Andrew Gelman has some great graphs on the connection between economics and ideology. Comparing income levels, ideology, and party identification, he and collaborator Daniel Lee found the connection between income and party identification was strongest among conservative Republicans. But the relationship was “close to zero” for liberals. Liberal Dems were spread across all income groups, while conservative Dems had much lower income levels.

My reading is that class continues to play a considerable role in American politics: With the exception of liberal Dems who draw from across the spectrum of classes, the parties and their key factions increasingly represent class blocs. Gelman notes that the connection between economic status and party/ideology underpins America’s increasingly polarized policy debates. He’s right. In the current zero-sum economic climate, it’s only likely to get worse.

Martin Kenney
by Martin Kenney
Mon Jan 12th 2009 at 1:50pm UTC

Crackpots, Ideology, and Economics

Monday, January 12th, 2009

Remember your economics courses in college? Dull, dry, and you were always trying to figure out what the theory and mathematics had to do with reality beyond what you learned from the world that, in most cases, supply and price were inversely related? So much of the rest of the courses seemed to be simply unrelated to the real world.

It amazes me that these economists are always quoted in the newspaper talking about the economy, when many of them know so little about the economy. Outside a very few of them such as Robert Schiller, Nouriel Roubini, and a very few others had the slightest idea in 2006 or 2007 that we were on the verge of an economic catastrophe. For a wonderful critique of economics see Yves.

This brings me to a larger question: can a discipline that cannot predict be a science? If a science suffers a massive failure, would you not think that there would be significant questioning of the practice and theory? As Yves asked, would you trust your health to a doctor whose record of failure to diagnose serious diseases was nearly 100 percent wrong and with such a record saw no reason to change? Why would a “change” agent/leader fill all the important positions with uncritical and probably unaware acolytes of the failed paradigm?

To put it in the language of this blog, economists may be creative, but it is in the production of dangerous fiction (for those that have lost significant sums in their retirement accounts, “pornography” might be a better term).

Can economics be salvaged and what will it take? What say you?