Blaming the economics profession for today’s problems

I can recommend the www.evonomics.com website for good reads on economic thinking. Yesterday my thoughts kept hanging on the recent article on why the economic profession is to blame for today’s problems. The article can be found and read here. While I’m an economist myself I have no difficulty in acknowledging most of the points made by the author and economics-professor John Harvey.

Even though the article blames the abstract way economist tend to formulate their problems (so creating a shield of jargon to keep away outsiders), I had the feeling that the message is worth it to use more than words alone. Okay, no model or algebra this time, I get the message. So let’s try another way of displaying the contents.

I struggled to summarize the main arguments of the article of Harvey. I made some notes by hand while reading the article for the second time. I got something like this:

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Not very satisfying, is it?

After a night’s sleep and taking the liberty to add my own gut feelings, I took the effort to summarize the main arguments on some piece of software. As I’ve discovered before: this leads to a better understanding (at least for me) and a new interpretation of the cloud of words. In a way it IS a (visual) model of (my reading of) the article of Harvey.

The big catch is this:

Economics (as a discipline or science) is king of ‘crowding out’ or king of ‘excluding things’. The phenomenon of crowding out ranges from excluding laymen to excluding new ideas to excluding (solving) real world problems.

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The (one-page-version of the) blaming-economics-for-crowding-out diagram can be downloaded here.

Rudy van Stratum

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