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Why do economists never run for President ?


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Initial post: Feb 28, 2012 6:50:46 AM PST
avraam jack says:
The average voter is far more concerned with the economy than they are with the state of the legal system.

Yet for some reason, we tend to have lawyers as President and elected representatives.

Asking a lawyer to fix the economy is like asking an economist to be a judge or argue a case.

If we want to fix the economy, should we not focus on electing economists?

Posted on Feb 28, 2012 8:42:52 AM PST
At first blush, this is a breakthrough. There is no law but louder mouths and deeper pockets, so the people "should prefer" politicians who pay attention to data. And the more conservative, the more adept at denying data ... the data show. http://www.alternet.org/story/154252/the_republican_brain%3A_why_even_educated_conservatives_deny_science_--_and_reality/?page=entire Sadly this is just as true of conservative economists, so the real problem of "data denial" is to prefer reality over conservative fiction. Until the fresh water economists drown in their own fictions to be reborn in data, it will not help to bring them any farther into politics.

Posted on Apr 25, 2012 7:14:54 AM PDT
2 points, 1, actually as surprising as it sounds people only care about the economy if the economy is bad, otherwise they care more about social issues,

2, its the same reason the smartest people dont run, politics is a game and you have to good at playing it, all n all it comes down to who runs the best campaign, example would be back in 08, Hiliary Clinton has much more experience in the federal government than Obama, but he ran a great campaign, he is a great speaker n the public loved him, Professor Krugman is a bit of a goofy guy (i'd vote for him) but most ppl prolly wouldn't , i'd love to see him get some kind of advising position to the president, but i guess he is happy where he is

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 25, 2012 8:09:22 AM PDT
avraam jack says:
Those are all valid points but I believe that a great economist would have additional resources that could be deployed in a campaign and that they would be hard to resist.

In seven months we can start the " draft krugman for 2016" movement.

Posted on May 3, 2012 7:23:17 AM PDT
Eskay says:
Haha because economics is all theory. If any mainstream economist ran for president, they would inevitably face far greater scrutiny of their record and past predictions/prescriptions than they currently do sitting behind a keyboard writing blog posts. Almost all economists were wrong about housing prices never coming down, that alone disqualifies about 95% of the mainstream economists out there.

In reply to an earlier post on May 4, 2012 12:33:09 PM PDT
I think the main reason is because economists are rarely forced to make presentations to non-economists the way attorneys are. Trial lawyers (especially prosecutors) often find their way into politics because a stump speech is a natural extension of a trial summation, and they make a living calling for "justice" for victims.

Furthermore, while economists do often engage in debates on an academic level, they rarely have to have those debates in front of lay people. And when they do, the concept of basic fairness - regardless of the context - is much easier to "dumb down" than the kind of abstract mathematical concepts required for a coherent economic argument.

Lawyers may be regarded almost as poorly as serial killers, but the science/art of economics is essentially a black box for most people.

That said, I feel as though this is highly counter-productive for a modern society. Lawyers are almost by definition mercenaries to the cause of the highest bidder. And even when they make the case that they are acting in the public interest, I for one question whether they really believe that some ideas are not worth defending just because a fickle, under-informed public polls otherwise.

Posted on May 4, 2012 4:24:26 PM PDT
avraam jack says:
Hi William and Eskay,

It may be that some economists are never always right, but then who is?

I do not think Clinton or Obama ever actually argued a case in court. Paul has probably made more arguments in his blog and on TV than either.

I am glad that you all at least sort of agree with me that a good economist would make a good President.

I will have the "DRAFT KRUGMAN FOR 2016" Facebook page up November 10. It would be nice if it would get a million or so likes.

.

In reply to an earlier post on May 4, 2012 4:43:02 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 4, 2012 4:50:31 PM PDT
John Jay says:
Let us not be so indirect. If we want changes in aspects of law and economics; banking, credit and debt; money and taxes; education; health care; energy; etc.; let us say so: let us suggest agendas or political platform planks.

President Lincoln was our greatest leader, politician and economist. Yet he was a country and railroad lawyer. Wahington was the giant who prevented dictatorship like Napoleon's from becoming our fate: he was a surveyor and soldier. President Jefferson was a personal spender on luxuries above his means -- yet he added more welath to America than anyone before or after him.

Economists cannot tie there own shoes. I am an amateur economist. Professionals are worse.

Here is list of CHANGES we need. Support them, question them or destroy them for being stupid:

1. Via quantitative easing, popular demand should ask the Central Bank to buy as many of our bonds as necessary -- so we can have full employment -- and will pay for it with output of world class items poeple and firms want to buy. This implies zero nation debt in due course and zero income tax NOW.

2. To encourage savings, that will prevent inflation, savings accounts should be cola'd like social security and TIPS now are. (TIPS = Treasury Inflation Protected Securities).

3. The purpose of all federal budgets should be stated, as well as their legal particulars.

..... For instance, if we want an economic democracy for posterity, we should have full employment and a decent minimum standard of living as our our porposes and/or bjectives.

4. If we want to improve productivity where it counts, to employ all our graduates at high pay worthwhile jobs, we may need an Economic Security Agency, with the AI and computing power of the NSA.

..... NSA (the largest computer systems on earth) ought to mentor the new agency), so that we can guarantee adequate aggregate demand and prevent inflation as well.

ADD TO THESE CHANGES and/or CHANGE THEM. Let us make this forum the most effective we've ever joined.

In reply to an earlier post on May 12, 2012 7:26:28 AM PDT
avraam jack says:
Hi William,

I did not mean to disparage lawyers. I have met some really nice people in the legal profession. Any large groups of people , whether lawyers, police or marijuana sellers will have both good and bad people.

Until the election in November, it is vitally important that we do everything we can to reelect the President. His policies are clearly superior to the alternative.

After that we should concentrate on electing an economist like Paul. A good economist would have known what to do on day one, the resulting economic boom would have prevented midterm democratic losses and both the President and his Congress would be coasting to reelection. That is why we need a good economist as President.

.
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Participants:  6
Total posts:  9
Initial post:  Feb 28, 2012
Latest post:  May 12, 2012

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End This Depression Now! by Paul Krugman (Hardcover - April 30, 2012)
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