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“All serious economists agree…”

I love this phrase: “All serious economists…”

Are there any “funny” economists? 

If so, I’ve never met them.  So what does this phrase mean?  It means “the narrow set of mainstream economists who agree with my point of view at this time”.  The little qualifier “serious” is intended to convey to the reader that there are “serious” economists on the one hand and “wacky” “non-serious” economists on the other whose views should not be treated “seriously”.  Like, say, Murray Rothbard or Ron Paul.

The Baseline Scenario quotes a commentator who uses the phrase in the context of regulating  the TBTF institutions that privitise profits and socialise losses.

Let me use the phrase in a slightly different context:

All serious economists believed there would be no GFC in 2006.  All serious economists were wrong.

All serious economists believed the housing crisis would be confined to sub-prime in 2007.  All serious economists were wrong.

All serious economists predicted continued declines in stockmarkets worldwide at the beginning of 2009.  All serious economists were wrong.

All serious economists think stimulus spending works to “cure” an economy languishing after years of too-cheap credit and debt.  All serious economists are wrong.

All serious economists believe the global economy has turned a corner in 2009 due to the trillions in govt spending.  All serious economists are wrong.

All serious economists in the USSR believed only serious economists studied Marxist-Leninist thought.  All serious economists in the USSR were wrong.

All serious economists in the UK and Australia believe Keynesian economics holds the answers to the major economics questions today.  All serious economists in the UK and Australia are wrong.

All serious economists in the West think paper money backed by nothing can last as real money, instead of gold.  All serious economists in the West are wrong.

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Categories: Mainstream failure
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