The Dismal ‘Science’

Read this Op-Ed from the senior economics writer* for the WSJ, complete with requisite nod to well-documented front group and propaganda outlet CEI. Keep in mind that the Wall Street Journal is (along with FT) the financial paper of record for the American business world, the same paper that published this offal.

Ponder along with Michael Tobis whether or not “the mainstream of economics is not a science; that we attend to their advice, especially on long-term decisions, at great peril.”

Enjoy your weekend.

*Stephen Moore is not simply a reporter for the WSJ- he is a die-hard supply side, limitless-growth economist who sits on their editorial board. While this is nominally an op-ed, it is reflective of the beliefs of an economist who is not only respected by the WSJ, but instrumental in shaping its positions.

[UPDATE: Solve Climate isn’t exactly bowled over by Mr. Moore’s “rant” either.]


6 responses to “The Dismal ‘Science’

  1. 1) Like it or not, economists are important to policy-building.

    2) As usual, OpEd and reporting are separate, and especially so in the case of the WSJ, as we discussed a while ago at Deltoid. The single-to-noise ratio of the comment thread was unusually high, with some very knowledgable contributions.

  2. JM:

    1. It’s the public opinion-building that bothers me.
    2. Completely understood. I’ll check out the thread, but my point here is expressing the kind of disgust I’d feel if I opened up National Geographic and read an opinion piece written by a senior pre-Colombian archaeologist and editorial board member on the role of Aliens in the construction of Macchu Pichu. It’s not just wrong, it’s offensively so.

    Concern about the anthropogenic impact on the planet is not religion, or mass hysteria, or crypto-communism, or any of the other conspiracy theories “the world’s leading business publication” recklessly claims it is. Granted, yes, this was an op-ed, but it was written by an economist who sits on their editorial board- presumably the Wall Street Journal thinks he has a decent grasp of the subject.

  3. Reading WSJ OpEd will raise your blood pressure, but that’s not new news… and as pointed out in that URL, lots of other people and WSJ reporters have the same problem.

    Some people who love the WSJ OpEd think The Economist has turned into an awful left-wing rag and dropped their scubscriptions in disgust…

  4. “think The Economist has turned into an awful left-wing rag and dropped their scubscriptions in disgust…”

    Heh. It’s hard to stay indignant reading something like that.

  5. My opinion: The WSJ Editorial page exists as the newspaper of record for what a “reasonable person” in a corporate executive position or their legal counsel will be — legally — expected to have — actual — knowledge of, when the corporation is accused of behavior sufficiently stupid and destructive to actually be charged with having bent a regulation or gotten within possible trouble with a legal restriction.

    As long as the WSJ Editorial page hasn’t told corporate executives or their legal counsel that something may actually be a problem, they can’t — under the legal definition of ‘reasonably’ be expected to actually — under the legal definition of ‘actually’ — know — under the legal definition of ‘know’ — that it might be a problem.

    This sounds like complete bullshit. It is, however, the legal standard.

    My take — the WSJ is not going to risk offending their advertisers by actually opining in their editorial column on anything not already nailed down as clearly required for their readers to know about. The news, their readers can always dismiss.

  6. AHA! I knew it:
    1) The WSJ clearly got it “right”, Friday, Sept 5, in OpEd by james P. Lucier jr “What Palin Really Did to the Oil Industry”.
    Drill, baby drill … and send everyone a check.

    2) That awful, anti-free-market leftist rag, The Economist, whacked McCain pretty hard for picking Palin, in “The Woman from Nowhere”, in the current edition :-)

    See, my August 15 comment was right on. Those naughty, naughty Economsit folks…


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