Why Aren't Economists as Important as Garbagemen? Essays on the State of Economics

By David Colander | Go to book overview

1 Why Aren't Economists as Important as Garbagemen?

Say that all garbagemen got together and went on strike. What would the effect on society be? The answer is clear: Society would be a mess. Now say that all economists got together and went on strike. What would the effect on society be? Most people's answer would be, "None. Things would be just about the same with or without economists." Hence the question: Why aren't economists as important as garbagemen?

That rhetorical question sets up an unfair comparison. To contrast the two roles adequately, one would need to qualify the comparison in innumerable ways, but it does highlight economists' lack of a direct role in the everyday functioning of the economy. Economists simply don't play much of a direct role. When they do play a role, that role is often a cameo--their advice is used if it supports what the proponents want and totally ignored if it does not. An entire movement in economic policy, such as supply-side economics, can develop, influence policy, and fade away with little or no input from economists. Put simply, economists are not directly involved in the functioning of the economy.

In this lack of direct involvement, economics differs from many other professions. For example, in the above comparison, were one to replace economists with doctors, lawyers, or engineers, one's answer would be different; although these groups are still not as directly important as garbagemen, they play a more

-19-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Why Aren't Economists as Important as Garbagemen? Essays on the State of Economics
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction 3
  • 1- Economists And Policy 17
  • 1- Why Aren't Economists As Important as Garbagemen? 19
  • Notes 28
  • 2- Economics, Institutions, And Methodology 39
  • 3- The Making Of An Economist 41
  • 4: Workmanship, Incentives, And Cynicism 63
  • 5- The Invisible Hand of Truth 81
  • 3- Applications To Macroeconomics 89
  • 6- The Evolution Of Keynesian Economics: From Keynesian to New Classical To New Keynesian 91
  • Notes 100
  • 4- Critics of Economics 113
  • 8- Galbraith and the Theory Of Price Control 115
  • 10- Form and Content In Appraising Recent Economic Developments 139
  • Notes 152
  • Works Cited And Related References 165
  • Index 169
  • About the Author *
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 177

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.