Persistent Bad Economics

This is one of the more depressing things I’ve read lately. It offers an explanation of why bad economic policies are so persistent: economics is hard to learn. You might think that there would be a nice checklist of sound economic ideas (“free trade is good”), but who would accept it without thinking it through, i.e. going to the trouble of learning good economics? Even worse, there are always organized and well funded interests who benefit from unsound economic policies. Worse still, politicians seem to instinctively know that good economics sounds bad to most voters, so their easy course is to support bad policy and get elected and maybe get a cushy job when their political career is over. Needless to say, the well organized and funded interests provide an abundance of such jobs.

The really depressing part is that this pattern will occur regardless of how the political system is organized.

The only “solution” is for more people to be well versed in economics…and that’s less likely than finding everyone doing calculus problems as a form of recreation.

Woe is us.

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