Economics is not a predictive science, i.e., economists do not make better predictions than mere chance. Yet most economists build their careers based on selling the idea that they can predict the consequences of different economic decisions under real-world conditions. Just like the character in the cartoon, economists build their reputations by advertising the few times they got lucky and guessed right, while convincing people to ignore their many, many failed predictions.
As one wag said of Paul Krugman,”He has successfully predicted 9 of the last one recessions.”
He’s far from alone in that.
The only economists whose works stand the test of time are those who explain why economics isn’t a predictive science and that we shouldn’t make decisions based on the belief that it is a predictive science. This is why Adam Smith is still studied 230 years later while all his contemporaries who argued that they did have predictive powers have been forgotten or discredited.