Thursday, July 22, 2010

More on the Macro Recipe Book

I'm still puzzling over the scandal of economic theory that I was mulling over yesterday--the other discontinuity of view between competing schools of macro policy. That would be: the view(s) that (a) we've got to juice more into the system; or (b) we've got to cut, cut, cut. I tend to ally myself with those of my betters who propound the juice theory. And I'd certainly agree that the cut school is heavily populated with the terminally ignorant: people who don't seem to have the most primitive notion of how an economy works, and who are disposed to use government policy of any sort as a focus for their resentment (particularly when propounded by a suspected Kenyan).

But even a blind hog finds a few acorns and an idea has a truth value independent of the person who embraces it. Even if it is not the right remedy for the moment, still the cutter school has defenses or justifications far more sophisticated and plausible than what you are likely to hear on talk radio.

What is lacking, so far as I can tell, is anywhere near enough candid and responsible dialog between grownups who ought to know better. I'm willing to give the yahoos a bye; I'm happy to excuse politicians (at least provisionally) from the class of those who know better. That leaves a tranche--maybe two tranches--of impressively trained professionals who can fashion analytic advocacy of great sophistication, and marshal formidable batteries of data in their support. But they gaze across the void with an attitude of suppressed indignation (the cutters) or ironic indifference (the juicers). On both sides, it is unworthy of them. We the wide-eyed and gap-jawed outsiders deserve better.

1 comment:

brad said...

Ask and ye shall receive; seek and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened: