Forensic Economics

Russ Roberts does a nice bit of forensic economics, identifying another policy contributor to the (late and unlamented) housing bubble. He draws an important conclusion about tax policy. (More here). I draw two broader conclusions:

  1. When government meddles with economic structures, unexpected things can and do happen. These things are often undesirable.
  2. It can take a very long time – such as years and decades – for the undesirable effects to be revealed.

Economists know so little yet claim to know so much. Give me a humble economist – you can keep the bright feathered popinjays. I favor the view of Hippocrates: first do no harm.

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