03/11/2010

When they great and good tell us the experts support them its time to get skeptical

Listening to the radio this lunchtime after PMQs a Labour MP informed us that all the economists agree that Labour's approach to the financial disaster they had a hand in creating was the right way. Just to remind you that approach is to continue spending money like its going out of fashion and for the Bank of England to print more money in the form of Quantitative Easing.

I became a skeptic 
a person who questions the validity or authenticity of something purporting to be factual
after the EU* referendum in 1975. I had been beguiled in to voting Yes by all the great and the good and I don't need to go in to how that turned out for the purposes of this post. Suffice to say  that what all the fools said would happen turned out to be true, in spades.

So when I heard said MP I was reminded of this letter:

30 October 2010
Mr. James Fallows
National Correspondent, The Atlantic

Dear Mr. Fallows:

This afternoon on National Public Radio you proclaimed that “there is essentially no disagreement whatsoever” among economists that more stimulus spending is necessary today

You are misinformed.

Last year, hundreds of economists signed a petition, circulated by the Cato Institute, whose key clause reads “it is a triumph of hope over experience to believe that more government spending will help the U.S. today.”  Among the economists who signed this petition in opposition to ‘stimulus’ spending are three Nobel laureates in economics (Edward Prescott, Vernon Smith, and my colleague James Buchanan).  Others signers include Chicago’s Eugene Fama and Sam Peltzman, Harvard’s Jeffrey Miron, Texas A&M’s Thomas Saving, Cornell’s Rick Geddes and Dean Lillard, University of Virginia’s Lee Coppock and Kenneth Elzinga, Duke’s Michael Munger and Edward Tower, University of Rochester’s Mark Bils and Ronald Schmidt, Rutger’s Michael Bordo and Leo Troy, University of Southern California’s John Matsusaka and Kevin Murphy, and one of the world’s preeminent scholars of money and banking, Carnegie-Mellon’s Allan Meltzer.
Perhaps these economists and the many others who’ve signed this petition (including myself) – and who continue to speak out against what we believe to be the folly of ‘stimulus’ – are mistaken.  But for you to announce publicly that there is “no disagreement whatsoever” among economists that more stimulus spending is desirable is so wildly inaccurate that it borders on being irresponsible.

Sincerely,

Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA 22030


OK, its about the US, but the same holds true for the UK.

I'm not an economist so won't go in to the arguments, but when someone from the ruling elite claims that all the experts support them its time to look for the doubters and listen to their arguments very carefully.

*Yes I know it wasn't the EU  but those damned fools who warned us where it was going to end up

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