Wednesday, October 01, 2008

80% of Congress Has No Background in Economics

As Congress works on one of the most important pieces of economic legislation in a generation, a Washington research group has pointed out that more than 8 in 10 members of Congress don’t have a formal educational background in the business, economics, or finance fields.

The research by the Center for Economic and Entrepreneurial Literacy, which aims to educate the general public about finance issues, showed that about 14% have degrees in economics-related fields and just 6.7% specifically have an economics degree. More than 30% of members have degrees in politics and government, while 18% majored in humanities.

It’s interesting that those who are responsible for solving the biggest economic crisis in generations don’t have the educational background to know the difference between commercial paper and copy machine paper,” said James Bowers, managing director of CEEL.

Whole thing here.


At 10/01/2008 4:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ron Paul is the only one who's studied real economics - Austrian economics.

Neoclassical economics should rightly be called "econstrology". It's no better than trying to figure out how the world works by watching the stars.

At 10/01/2008 4:08 PM, Blogger Shawn said...

but they care about us, so that makes it all okay.

At 10/01/2008 4:21 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Ron Paul is the only one who's studied real economics - Austrian economics"...


Pick that off the Lew Rockwell blog, did you?

At 10/01/2008 4:23 PM, Blogger The Right Guy said...

I wonder how those percentages trend since the beginning. I would have thought that having a law degree was the most common educational attribute amongst congressman and senators and to some extent presidents. FWIW, the qualifications are pretty open: Natural born citizen, 25 years old to be a congressmen, 30 years old to be a senator and 35 years old to be the president. I don't believe there is an age limit on supreme court justice. That is it. My undergrad is american history, with a minor in biology and I have a master's in information systems. Would I be qualified? :) I wouldn't run if you paid me. There is too much scrutiny and duplicity.

At 10/01/2008 4:44 PM, Blogger Trevre said...

Congress makes decisions about every subject under the sun, including economics. They couldn't possibly have a degree in each legislations subject area. I am sure that many of the congressmen and women have taken several courses in economics, enough to understand basic economic language. They then seek out the advice of experts who do have degrees in economics to get information about what decision to make. If all the experts agreed it would be easy, but even the experts disagree.

Even I know that much. Plus do you think if everyone in congress had an economics degree they would come up with a better solution this problem? I bet economists would have just as hard a time agreeing on things as legislators. Have economists ever gotten together in a big group and agreed on proper economic policy, or can they just criticize the existing policy without suggesting a new one?

At 10/01/2008 4:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I understand that most of congress who had to vote for or against funding the space program were not astronauts.

What a ridiculous comment, we don't expect the congress to know every detail of the Wall Street crisis but to become informed from other sources and weigh the pros and cons and make an informed choice.

What did the "Expert" Henry M. Paulson say .. "give me $700 billion dollars right now, ask no questions or the economy and sky will fall today !!!!!

And why didn't the economic experts predict and stop this Wall Street diaster before it happened?

It's ironic that Paulson ran the same company that is now in panic mode, I am no economist and manage my small business and assests 100X better than any Wall Street economist.

At 10/01/2008 5:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congress doesn't need to know economics, just how to spend money to get re-elected. No money? Just print more, no problem.

At 10/01/2008 6:05 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"And why didn't the economic experts predict and stop this Wall Street diaster before it happened?"...

You mean predictions that STEVEN A. HOLMES back in '99 wrote about?

Maybe you mean those 2004 hearings in the House, right?

At 10/01/2008 8:35 PM, Blogger Dad29 said...

It's worse than that.

Most of 'em are lawyers.

At 10/01/2008 10:02 PM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

> 80% of Congress Has No Background in Economics

What difference does THAT make. This bill doesn't have that much to DO with economics:


From the AP story about the bailout:

Add on the $3 billion funding dollop for rural school programs over the next five years. And another $8 billion over the same period in disaster aid, much of it for Midwestern states. And toss in unrelated legislation, far-reaching in its own right, requiring insurance plans to provide better benefits for mental health.

***What*** the > > F U C K < < is any of this doing tossed into an emergency bailout bill?


Remember in November:

Just Fire these bastard pieces of shit.

Fire all of 'em.


At 10/01/2008 10:06 PM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

> Ron Paul is the only one who's studied real economics - Austrian economics.

The Austrians have been screaming that the economy was going into the tank since the 1990s, and the reason had not one damned thing to do with the current problems.

Until the Austrians can explain, through their theories, why the US economy hasn't collapsed even though their current notions of how an economy works say it should long since, I'm taking EVERYTHING they say with a grain of salt.

They certainly rank way above Keynesian claptrap and Marxist fantasies, but at this point, they don't have any more reliable ideas or answers than the chicago boys.

At 10/02/2008 1:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you serious? 20% have a background in economics? There must be a mistake. Probably Das Kapital mostly. Considering the kind of ignorance they display i find it impossible that more than a handful have even heard of Adam Smith.

At 10/02/2008 3:46 AM, Blogger Arman said...

Economists don't have a clue about economics. The big problem is that those not educated in economics think that the "experts" might know what they are doing, and so somewhat bow to the stupid notion that the nation's economy rests upon wall street. To this end the government is called upon to use all of its power to protect and promote big business. Of course, a business must protect and promote itself, and if it cannot the the world is better off without it.

At 10/02/2008 3:54 AM, Blogger Arman said...

"They (Austrians) certainly rank way above Keynesian claptrap and Marxist fantasies"
No they don't. All three are extensions of Adam Smith, and Wealth of Nations was brilliant propaganda in promotion of the industrialists image; not at all an intellectual essay. All economic studies stem from Smith, and he didn't have a clue about what he was talking about. The only reason that Smith got promoted was the financial backing from those whose image he was polishing.

At 10/02/2008 7:38 PM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

> No they don't. All three are extensions of Adam Smith, and Wealth of Nations was brilliant propaganda in promotion of the industrialists image

Yes, Mr. Marxist.

The industrialized world is soooooo much worse off than those in the non-industrialized nations.

As a matter of fact, I'm sure that you would happily trade the place of you and your family for someone else and their family in, oh, Zimbabwe.

No? Zimbabwe, perhaps, is too harsh a choice, I grant.

Tell you what -- We're going to let some sheep herder and his family living in the mountains of Afghanistan trade places with you and your family. I'm sure you won't have any problem with that, and in fact, would greatly enjoy the change, given your lack of appreciation for the advantages of a life "under an industrialist's thumb".

So -- how soon can you wrap up your affairs, Arman?

At 10/03/2008 4:44 AM, Blogger Arman said...

I said that all THREE... Keynesians, Austrians, and MARXISTS are extensions of Smiths propaganda. You are a narrow minded fool to label me Marxist on the evidence that I do not ascribe to any economic notions that are based on Smith.

At 10/04/2008 10:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's may be worse than "80% of Congress has no background in economics" is that the general population of Americans having no background in economics is probably much higher than that 80%.

Our economics education is woefully inadequate - high schools usually devote a semester or a quarter toward personal economics and often no economics classes are required for a college or university degree.

At 10/06/2008 2:35 AM, Blogger Arman said...

Oh jeez
Economics as it is taught is not about anything useful or even real. It is propaganda, and those having an education in economics seem less capable of considering reality that those without.

At 6/21/2009 9:09 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

What are the biggest issues that face our country? Economics and Foreign Policy, correct. While you cannot have expertise in every area, I believe a background in both of these would be good. Say, a former soldier who also has a Ph.D. in ecnomics. Also, we need to get a few accountants elected. Basically, we need to elect an economics professor who also has a Master's in International relations that he/she received while they were in the military.


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