Economics and similar, for the sleep-deprived
A subtle change has been made to the comments links, so they no longer pop up. Does this in any way help with the problem about comments not appearing on permalinked posts, readers?
Update: seemingly not
Update: Oh yeah!
Monday, March 21, 2011
The "ist" of science and the "ist" of ideology
Bits and pieces of talk around the way about "is economics a science and if so why to economists disagree so much and so loudly?".
This confusion disappears if you make sure to remember that the "ist" at the end of the word "economist" should be taken not as analogous to "scientist", but rather to "Trotskyist". Robert Conquest was an expert on socialism, but not a socialist; seemingly someone like Tim Worstall (who has no economics degree and, frankly, no realistic prospect of getting one from any university of better-than-sickening quality) is perfectly right to call himself an "economist", while someone like me (who has two economics degrees and makes a living doing a form of economics) probably isn't.
Update: Worstall writes in, in comments, to say that he does have a degree in economics, from the LSE! Well I'll be a monkey's uncle. While this doesn't actually change my view of his knowledge of economics (how could it, he posts the evidence every day on his blog), I am clearly in the wrong here and apologise. Tim also says that he has never claimed to be an economist, although my whole point here is that he should do. The term "economist" has lost all meaning in terms of technical ability these days and simply refers to a party affiliation. Words drift and this one doesn't mean the same thing it used to. Tim, Megan McArdle and Richard Posner are all economists. I'm not one. Paul Krugman isn't any more. Brad DeLong is only just one.
Further update: By way of clarifying my earlier apology, which some commenters have deemed inadequate, I genuinely do apologise for any insinuation (which was honestly unintended) that Tim might have been trading under false credentials as an economist. I can see how it kind of reads that way, and obviously that would be a really serious accusation of the sort which shouldn't be made on the basis of the amount research I did, ie none whatsoever. So sorry Tim.
By way of clarifying my earlier non-apology, I still think the standard of his economics is dreadful, and TW has handed out enough "Economic Idiot" awards to people who know more than himself that I think he can wear that one.
this item posted by the management 3/21/2011 02:53:00 AM