Chicagoboyz stats

Make of it as you will: Chicagoboy Fogel says:

there were hardly a hundred economists employed by the federal government in 1931, even if one counted statistical clerks. By 1938, the middle of Roosevelt’s second administration, the number of economists employed by the government had risen to five thousand. Today that number stands at over twenty thousand. (130)

6 thoughts on “Chicagoboyz stats”

  1. They beilieve the following, which is a non-exhaustive list: (1) they are insanely smarter than everyone else, (2) people without Ph.D.s are subhuman and should be ignored, (3) the government should be run by them, and whatever bullshit the rabble have to fed to keep them distracted should be ladled out to them by poliiticians, (4) they know how to manage the economy and they are entitled to do so because they are smarter than everybody else, (5) no amount of policy failure will ever convince them that they are or could be mistaken about anything, (6) elections are circus for the idiots because all economists all agree on all policy and whatever politicians may be in office, the economists will generate the same policy options and the same exact things will happen, (8) what they do necessarily involves a lot of math, which only they can understand, (9) their terrestrial paradise is to be one of the Presidents board of economic advisors, (9) they are university products and survived and succeeded in the university world of graduate studies and hence they are generically left in all their reflexes and sentiments, and they despise conservatives of any kind as a particularly vicious, ignorant and potentially harmful group who should be kept away from any actual authority at all costs, (10) as government employees they have a permanent and immutable interest in a permanently expanding government sector, in which they will gain increasing promotions, raises, authority and prestige, and they will do whatever is necessary to protect their turf.

  2. I wonder how many economists Harding utilized to avoid a depression in 1920 and 1921? We’ll never know. He understood what needed to be done as common sense is understood.

    My daughter (#2) is in a five year PhD program with full tuition and expenses, including two years in Spain. She is trying to decide if she should stay for the last four years, Her objection is the PC BS she is obliged to regurgitate in her papers. She is looking for a job and, if she finds a decent one, she will probably quit grad school. She is an Obama voter but recognizes BS when she sees it and has other skills such as speaking and reading four languages, including Arabic. She already has several degrees and has had some job offers.

    She was surfing today and we plan to meet tomorrow for lunch. Her sister is trying to recruit her for the FBI because of her language skills.

    I pray she will joint the real economy because she is too smart to accept the phony leftist BS if she sees real life outside the academy.


    Somebody said that to me yesterday at the Western Economics Association meeting. An hour before I had literally started my own talk by saying that many different groups of people, economists, financial economist, analysts in the industry, write about finance but its obvious that they don’t read each others work. The person who said that is a finance professor who is seemingly unaware of the interest in cross-border correlations. One guy had the misfortune of presenting a highly theoretical paper only to have the discussant be a very empirically oriented economist. The former got his PhD from a top ranked school and teaches at one while the latter didn’t and doesn’t.

  4. Economics as an intellectual discipline taught in schools is a 20th century invention. There is no straight line from Smith to Friedman contrary to myth.

    In the US, professional economics began with the “progressive” movement. It was dedicated to the efficient management of society

    The idea that there could be a social “science” comes out of LSE, which had been found by socialists, the Webbs and Bernard Shaw, but LSE also sheltered Hayek who critiqued the idea.

    The first economic model was a water driven analogue which had stocks and flows of water:

    It was built by Phillips who devised the famous Phillips curve.

    The use of digital computers to build numeric models followed in the 1950s.

    Building numeric models is an interesting exercise. Believing that they teach us anything about the real world of men is foolishness. Smith and Hayek explained it.

  5. I resemble that remark! I work as an Economist on one of the main statistical programs of the Federal Government. I happen to have a Master’s degree in Economics but many of my colleagues don’t and often don’t even have a degree in Economics.

    You should not stereotype all of these workers. I, for example, am hardly a “progressive”. Quite the opposite. In fact, I certainly believe that economists, as a whole, are less inclined toward socialist thought than non-economists. I know one Economist who works for the Corps of Engineers who has had numerous run-ins with EPA types. Those are the ones you should really fear.

    Economic models, in my opinion, never represent the “Truth”. Neither do models in the physical sciences for that matter. We can’t ever know the “Truth”. We only have models that are more or less useful. You need numerical procedures to determine which are the better models. Macroeconomics is, in my opinion, on a much more flimsy foundation that is Micro and you should be skeptical of overly definite statements on Macro, such as those made by Krugman. Anyway, that’s my 2 cents worth.

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