Good economists vs bad economists

Walter E Williams

It’s a pretty simple concept that very few politicians seem to be able to understand.

13 thoughts on “Good economists vs bad economists

      1. Too obscure, I was. It’s a reference to a remark made by some king/president who said if he ever found a one-handed economist, he’d hire him. I’ll look around to see if I can find the cite.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. It hung on the wall of a buddy of mine when he chaired the Econ Department.

          He said it was a constant reminder to all of his colleagues and often commented that it needed to be branded on more than a few of their foreheads.

          Liked by 1 person

  1. “ Are natural or manmade disasters good for the economy?”

    His implication is that we revel in disasters so some economists say “let’s have more”. I would say that the comments are more about the human tendency to find a silver lining.

    Plus disasters are a fact of life, good or bad though they might be for certain sectors such as home builders, lumber, roofing, trash haulers, etc.

    I notice he did slam the regime for lying about tariffs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The point it that those boons to the builders and suppliers come at the expense of someone else. The money that buys a new roof cannot buy a new car for the homeowner or some other good or service.

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      1. Got that. And I would say that most economists agree, if not all agree with that premise.

        Just because PPE distributors, vaccine makers, disinfectant products and Zoom are reaping record sales doesn’t mean the pandemic is good for us either.

        Got that too. As do most economists.

        Williams was beating a dead horse, IMO.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. And yet, Krugman told us 9/11 was a boon to the economy,

          And most importantly, our congress, with the guidance of the Congressional Budget Office, passes law every year totally oblivious to that principle.

          Every tie you hear the words ‘green jobs’ that principle is being ignored.

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  2. According to Williams, Krugman said:

    “Ghastly as it may seem to say this, the terror attack — like the original day of infamy, which brought an end to the Great Depression — could do some economic good.”

    He did not say it would be a boon to the economy.

    Military spending went up. Real estate deals and investment in NYC went up. Construction contracts went out. Dump truck companies did well hauling debris.

    “…some economic good…”. Yeah, that fits.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RE: ““…some economic good…”. Yeah, that fits.”

      That’s the very mistake Williams (and Bastiat) warn against. That is, if there is “some good” (seen), but greater bad (unseen), then there is on net a good deficit.

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      1. You too? Krugman, and others, did not suggest we create disasters to boost the economy. They merely voiced the obvious fact that some economic gains can happen. And they do until people get back on their feet again.

        You are trying to attack setting “policy by disaster”.

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