nother article that I meant to jot down in my journal was one published in America
back in September. This particular one raised the question of the status of economics as a hard science, given that a statistically insignificant number of economist foresaw or predicted anything
like our great economic turndown. I was shocked when I read it, and I remember my eyes being glued to the page as I walked past the Chapel of Joan of Arc, behind Memorial Library, paying no attention to where I was going because I had rarely read anything like this man's indictment of his own field.
Economists, for the most part, failed to foresee the current financial and economic crisis—the worst since the 1930s. Now they cannot reach a consensus on how to resolve it. A few—such as Nouriel Roubini and Robert Schiller—saw what was coming but were ignored. James Galbraith, an economist at the University of Texas, said: “It’s an enormous blot on the reputation of the profession. There are thousands of economists. Most of them teach. And most of them teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless.” When Judge Richard Posner, a leading theorist of law and economics, was asked why the warnings about a looming crisis were ignored rather than investigated, he responded, “Many economists and political leaders are heavily invested in a free market ideology which teaches that markets are robust and self-regulating.“ A reasonable question might be: Why listen to economists?
– from the introduction to the article by Charles K. Wilber, Emeritus Professor of Economics and fellow of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame.
The whole of the essay is bold in this same way, and can be found in this link to the article from the September 28, 2009 issue of America
, the Jesuit journal of opinion.