Re: Why are economists reviled?

From: John Conover <>
Subject: Re: Why are economists reviled?
Date: 23 Aug 1999 19:19:39 -0000

William F. Hummel writes:
> On Mon, 23 Aug 1999 09:34:06 -0400, Edward Flaherty
> <> wrote:
> >
> >Contrary to some public perceptions, these and other beliefs
> >are widely held by economists not because they fit into
> >economists' preconceptions, and not even because they are convenient,
> >but because the evidence supports the beliefs.  In other words,
> >quite a lot of standard economic theory does a darn good
> >job of explaining the world.
> >
> Micro appears to be on much firmer ground then mainstream macro.
> No doubt many macro principles can stand up to empirical tests.
> But some fundamental axioms of macro cannot, in my opinion.  One
> of them is the axiom of the 'reals', that money is neutral as it
> affects the economy in the "long run", not meaning forever but
> for long enough to really matter.

Like you say, William, "just because macro principles can stand up to
empirical tests" does not mean they are a fundamental truth.

Are the macro principles a stable logic/axiomatic system?

Although there is reasonable consensus that if everyone believed macro
principles were a fundamental truth, they would be. However, would
macro principles still prevail, if everyone believed the converse?

Are macro principles the self-fulfilling prophesy of a
self-referential system?

Anyone formally proved it?


BTW, the entropic/fractalist POV might have something going for the
epistemology. *_IF_* the characteristics of an economy were fractal,
then the characteristics would be stable whether everyone, (or no
one,) believed it.


John Conover,,

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