Pretence of Knowledge – All Hat, No Cattle

Some economists claim that by doing such and so we can add 2 million jobs. Should we believe them? Most people don’t understand what a terribly complex calculation and ubiquitous access to data is required to make such a forecast. Maybe these economists should tackle a much simpler problem. I suggest, at the beginning of football season, forecasting the point spread of all NFL games for the season. The calculations are trivial by comparison and the knowledge needed is far more limited. If they can get the NFL right, then I might listen to their economic forecasts.

In other words, what we are hearing is the pretence of knowledge. Hayek addressed this in a speech when he won his Nobel Prize in Economics in 1974. Read it for some remarkable insights.

As they say in Texas, many economists are all hat and no cattle.

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