Sunday, October 12, 2008

Who Cares What the Experts Think Anyway?

They've only dedicated their adult lives to the study of the economy, how narrow! From CHE:
But now that the dust is beginning to settle in Washington, many academic economists have the gnawing feeling that during moments of crisis, they don't have much ability to sway public policy. James K. Galbraith, an economist who is a professor of government at the University of Texas at Austin, worked with Rep. David Scott, Democrat of Georgia, to draft two homeowner-protection provisions that made it into the final bill, which President Bush signed into law last Friday. But even Mr. Galbraith views the bailout package with dismay and says he is astonished that Congress did not invite economists to testify at public hearings.
The real question is why would Galbraith expect this to be the case? Congress is not good in crisis mode (just try googling "The Great Depression" and "The Patriot Act"). Perhaps economists just need to develop a more realistic outlook on how policy is actually made.

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