A blogger over at Psychology Today notes that one of the best selling books in France last year was written by an economist. He’s only 27. The book, called “The Missing Wealth of Nations” is about all the tax dodging of the wealthy around the world. A controversial subject to say the least. The blogger asks:So where are all the American economists? Can it be that these topics, along with such dramatic findings, would not be popular here? Would American economists risk their careers by taking up such subjects?
That’s a great question. What are American economists doing? For starters, they’re winning a boatload of economic Nobels. I mean just cleaning up year after year. We’re rolling in Nobels.
But the point is valid. American economists are hardly taking strong positions these days. One of the reasons is likely to loss of public respect for economists. I personally love me some economist jokes:An economist is a trained professional paid to guess wrong about the economy. An econometrician is a trained professional paid to use computers to guess wrong about the economy.
The truth is very few economists saw the recession coming at all. The most vocal were usually found saying the economy will be fine. We may not be seeing any economist activists in the US these days because frankly we don’t care about their opinions.