Picture of a judge's wigThe Judge RAVES!Picture of a judge's wig

Date: 14/11/18

"Elections Cannot Be Allowed To Change Economic Policy"

One reason why we are in the mess we are in is that our political systems and discourse have been taken over by economists.

Let the fact be squarely faced; economics deals in theories which - like their political counterparts, such as Communism or Libertarianism - look wonderful on paper, but crumble into deadly dust when brought into contact with real human beings in real situations.

This is particularly true of economic forecasting which, far from being a 'science' as its adherents so often claim, is merely a combination of wish-fulfilment and sooth-saying with spreadsheets. Chicken entrails tend to do a better job (and, if it goes horribly wrong, at least you have something to make a meal out of afterwards).

And the whole is routinely couched in such high-falutin' jargon and bafflegab that most people understandably give up trying to figure it out. The corollary to all this is that economists have been allowed totally to get away with it.

Sometimes there can be clarity and straight talking. One economist who isn't afraid to talk straight is the Greek ex-Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis. Here he is, at Cambridge, Mass. earlier this year, talking inter alia about what has been happening in Greece, his experiences as a minister (which includes the quote from the then-finance minister of Germany Wolfgang Schäuble which forms the title of this entry), why Trump and Brexit really happened, and why fascism is striding the world. And what might be done, what will need to be done, in order to change things for the better.

The lecture is clear, concise, witty and powerful, and lasts about fifty minutes. The Q&A afterwards (in which he firmly schools some of his questioners) is about an hour, so it'll require some commitment of time on the part of You, The Reader™; but I believe it will repay your efforts.

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(With a tip of the wig to BoingBoing for the link)