They’re fighting about the best way to fix the economy. I don’t trust the economists on this one. Why not? Because so-called economists – the ones in the nice suits on the tube, anyway – get to pick out their own evidence. And be their own peer reviewers. They ask themselves questions like: Do the American People want corrupt bankers and crud-eating upper crust rich people who fly in corporate jets to get tax breaks? Then they answer their own questions: Why NO THEY DON’T!!!!
Other scientists – physicists and chemists, biologists, and astronomers are jealous. How come THEY don’t get to make it up as THEY go along?
AUSTERITY VS SPENDING
In Europe, several countries are broke. To fix things, their leaders want to put the brakes on government spending.
Well, old John Maynard Keynes wouldn’t have recommended such a solution. He believed that in a recession or a depression, the government should spend money like a chimp at the mint. That’s what the Bush administration did when things went woozy; and the Obama administration continued shoveling wads of money out the window. With a bigger shovel.
By the way, I guess this was the right thing to do since we ducked a depression. Even that recession everyone thinks we’re still in ended a while back in 2010.
Well, you might ask, if the pump priming thing works so good, why shut off the water? What’s with austerity? Are Europeans a bunch of half wits?
But maybe they think that spending’s like plastic surgery. It just makes things worse and delays the inevitable. We should “man up”. It’ll hurt – It’ll hurt bad. But we’ll get past it and the economy will get going again in a healthier way.
That’s what they say.
Anyway, “austerity” is the hot new idea in Europe. It’s hot with some Americans, too, which is what led to the smooth way Congress handled the debt ceiling business.
Here’s the thing. In 2006, when the economy fritzed out, Europe and the US did pretty much the same thing. There wasn’t a lotta time to flip through old books and study. We had money to toss . So we tossed . Keynes would of been proud.
Now?We’re in a different place. The recovery hasn’t failed. Not so far. Could be better. But not as awful as the spinners make it sound. (Unless YOU’RE the one selling pencils out of a tin cup. I GET that!) We’re not trying to dodge a depression at the moment. This is “What do you do if the recovery’s losing steam” time. Maybe we COULD have inflation if we overdo. (Hard to believe.) So the austerity stuff isn’t as nuts you think. Maybe stimulating again COULD be overkill. Maybe.
Is it too early to stop spending and tighten up? MISTERScienceAintSoBad won’t say. It takes away the fun.
THE SCIENCE OF ECONOMICS
We kid around about economics being quasi-scientific, but it’s no worse than genetics or medicine or particle physics. If some guy on the tube is using half facts to jerk you around, you can’t blame it on REAL scientists. That’s not fair.
There’s nothing wrong with studying how the top primates (you and me), gyp each other out of stuff . How some get richer and others get poorer. As a science, economics is easy to quantify. Theories can be tested. Very sciency, indeed. Nothing quasi about it.
It’s a TRICKY science. That’s for sure! Sometimes it’s hard to tell what’s going on. Human’s culture’s so complicated. Plus we lie more than minnows do when questioned about our activities. But, so WHAT?
If you think the other sciences are so simple , why aren’t YOU Sir Isaac Newton?
Excuse me if you happen to be. I meant, in general.
Listen, I’ve defended economics before. It’s a fine kind of science.
Just don’t confuse the scientists with the entertainment.
Credits for the above illustration to myself. It’s not like I can’t draw stick figures.