This website has talked at some length about the science, or profession, behind economics. See below:

In a nutshell, economics is stuck between the worlds of legitimate science and religious dogma. In the wake of the recession economics faces an enormous headwind that is really unfair. Most economists provide significant value to society. But some economists have given the profession a bad name. As such, these days most people just don’t care what economists have to say.

media matters economists guest appearance on tv news

The chart above was based on a study of media appearances by the pundit class discussing the fiscal cliff last November. When I first saw it I thought the media was making an active choice not to feature economists because they would tell you there’s not much to worry about. Economists would say going over the cliff is a bad thing but no damage would happen so quickly it can’t be undone. That narrative doesn’t mesh well with the panic the media wants to induce.

But the more I thought about it, the more I came to think that economists aren’t featured in the media because people won’t listen to them anyway. Economists have sensible solutions to many problems including taxing carbon and entitlement reform. There’s no way for everyone to win, but there are ways to help fix broken systems. But people don’t care what economists say, even if most of them are very helpful.

That’s why this chart isn’t surprising either:

economists vs the rest of america

Believe it or not, the economists pretty much have this right. Americans have it wrong. That’s the great problem we have here. Economists have value to provide for national issues, but the public doesn’t care to listen and wouldn’t agree with them anyway. I blame economists for this. You can single out a few for being more a part of the problem than the solution, but economists almost seem happy with their role in life. The intellectual class understands them and mostly appreciates them. So they’re happy to let a majority of the population hate. But that makes them just as much part of the problem.

So economists: the ball is in your court. Help Americans understand your craft. Get them on your side. Your ideas need to be heard.

Further Reading:
Why do people think economists are charlatans? (Noahpinion)
REPORT : TV News Coverage Of Budget Negotiations Excludes Economists (Media Matters)

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categories: economics, media