He quotes economist James Galbraith:
It’s an enormous blot on the reputation of the profession [re: their failure to predict the mortgage crisis]. There are thousands of economists. Most of them teach. And most of them teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless.
And now here's the esteemed Greg Mankiw's commentary:
Like his late father, Galbraith the younger is highly critical of mainstream economics. This is noteworthy in part because Galbraith is listed as an Obama economic adviser.
One of the more telling things to look out for in the coming weeks (assuming the seemingly inevitable Obama victory) will be which economists get which jobs in the new administration. Will the important positions be filled with people like Austan Goolsbee and Jason Furman, who are essentially mainstream economists with slightly left of center political views, or with heterodox economists like Galbraith who are deeply skeptical of the economics found in most textbooks? If the administration is filled with prominent members of both groups, the internal battles over the heart and soul of the new administration's economic policy should prove fascinating to watch.
Actually Greg, economic policies have REAL WORLD CONSEQUENCES - people gain or lose jobs, individual liberties are at stake, fortunes are made and lost, standards of living shift, etc.
His nerdy hunger for FASCINATION just proves Galbraith's point about economists and their *fundamental uselessness*!!!
Yes they are useless, but far from innocuous.
Just think how many budding little socialists have passed Mankiw's courses.
Just think of how wannabe elitists he's helped teach the heinous crafts of confiscation and redistribution.
What about their negative externalities, Greg?
If ONLY they were just *useless*.