Medicine has its famous injunction: first do no harm. Economics ought to abide by that rule too. It is a massive evasion of responsibility for the profession to continue to plod along as if a few hundred more earnest papers will do the trick. They won’t. The error is profound. It is deep. It is decisive. Economists everywhere: stop what you are doing. Stop researching. Stop teaching. Stop advising. Stop writing. And above all stop pontificating. There are no clothes on this particular emperor, and it is high time we admitted as much. So, instead of all those activities, consider this: what are you doing to rehabilitate economics? Now. Not tomorrow.
I found this comment, by a non-economist, buried deep in a Krugman blog post about the effect of wage cuts:
I wish that you economists had the equivalent of a bar exam so that the incompetent among you could be prevented from practicing. As far as professional credentials are concerned, you seem to be operating like medicine in the eighteenth century, PhD’s notwithstanding.
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