I Cannot Believe Þere Are Still Economists…

& BRIEFLY NOTED: For 2022-01-06 Th: Duncan Black finds Gray Kimbrough calling some of our fellow economists ghouls.... As I have often said, there was something very wrong with economists who signed up for the Trump train. There was worse wrong with economists who stayed on the Trump train.... It was a very badly designed tax cut. It is hard to produce a tax cut for capital that contains such feeble incentives for investment in new capital that it has no effect increasing investment in America. Trump, McConnell, and Ryan managed. The Trump economists—Tomas Philipson and company inside the White House, plus such luminaries as Mike Boskin and Bob Barro outside—claimed, even after the shape of the tax cut at the micro level had become very clear, that it would be as big a boost to investment in America as... what followed the Clinton budget-balancing reconciliation plan of 1993.... In a healthy profession, you would take a reputational hit for continuing to claim that things worked out as planned.... Defensive economists I talk to say other disciplines are no better: that “science progresses funeral by funeral” precisely because we are so bad at realizing when we are deep in a hole, and it is time to stop digging. But doesn’t that make it more urgent to develop societal systems that impose very steep reputational penalties on those who refuse to mark their beliefs to market?

Read →