Sunday, April 08, 2007

Quote of the Day: Economics vs. Politics

Good economists are seldom popular with the political class. This is not a shortcoming unique to democratic systems. Dictators like good economists even less. Why is this?

As a rule, politics doesn’t educate. It obfuscates, pontificates and prevaricates. It often seeks to advance the interests of the few at the expense of the many. It is a playground for the short-sighted and the demagogic. Economics, on the other hand, tells us a great deal about how material life can be improved through the operation of entrepreneurship and markets. It informs us that there are laws beyond those that legislatures pass, and consequences for ignoring them.

The good economist is the one who takes the discussion of economic matters to the lofty level it deserves. When others spout clever sound bites, unsubstantiated charges and snake-oil remedies, it’s the good economist who raises his hand and calmly declares, "Wait a minute! Let’s look at the facts. Let’s separate the wheat (truth, logic and evidence) from the chaff (nonsense, false assumptions and panaceas)."

~Lawrence W. Reed, President of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy in Midland, MI


At 4/08/2007 8:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a great organization. I will really try to get an internship there before I graduate. And I'm crazy about Austrian economics.


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