Monday, February 20, 2012

In Some Circles, Economics Is Anathema

A pattern I find disturbing is that much of the left, at least in the English-speaking world, regards economics simply as a source of intellectual and moral corruption. Those who take this view make sweeping pronouncements on economic topics, but they pride themselves in not polluting their understanding by consulting economists or reading what economists have written.

Want an example? Check out the Uneconomics initiative and its “exposé” of how banks create money. Who could have imagined: private banks actually create money out of thin air when they make loans, and this creates the potential for economic volatility due to over- and undersupply. These secrets, supposedly covered up by sneaky economists and other elitists, are revealed by radical social critics, and we should be shocked, shocked.

Banking is a system that runs on make-believe and survives on ignorance.

Does it matter that a significant swath of the left thinks that standard stuff in a money and banking course is a great discovery that will shake capitalism to its foundations? And if I complain, am I just defending my own privileges as a so-called expert? Funny, I thought the reason to spend years of my life learning an intellectual speciality was to be able to make a contribution. Sorry about that.


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