ECONOMISTS

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ECONOMISTS

Post by slc8300 on Wed Oct 19, 2011 4:49 am

America's economists are the modern day preachers
of conspicuous optimism or doom. It's very clear who they work for:
that small intersection in America we call Wall street,
the place where opulence blooms.

Economists played a major role in the economic collapse. Economists make predictions which impact the decisions of bankers and lawmakers. If they make bad predictions, which they did and are still doing today, then people suffer, and suffer severely. "Economists" get paid to say whatever the person paying them wants them to say. This is well and good for think tanks like the Heritage Foundation or the American Enterprise Institute where everyone knows their agenda, but it is not acceptable for lawmakers or other institutions like banking where their decisions impact people.

As of today, in America, economists are a discipline, not a profession. Professions are people who work under a license and have a Code of Ethics. There are no license laws for economists and they have no code of ethics. The practical application of economic theory into our daily lives is an unregulated mess. Many people who call themselves economists in fact have almost no education in economics. It's an everyday practice where Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats allege that we need to cut our budget deficit, but, this is simply a lie! There is no credible economic theory to support this assertion and the outcome of this hemispheric austerity has resulted in further economic decline.

We demand that (1) economists may become licensed on a federal level and that license require a minimum of a masters degree in economics, (2) that licensing include strict adherence to a code of ethics, and (3) that all agencies and departments of the government (including the CBO and OMB) as well as all nationally chartered banks, and all credit rating agencies, must consult with licensed economists on which to base their financial and legal decisions, and (4) licensed economists must provide reports to government entities and chartered banks which publicly documents the basis for their economic advice and predictions to these entities, including information such as the economic theory on which they base their advice or predictions as well as historical and mathematical evidence.

slc8300

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Re: ECONOMISTS

Post by randallburns on Wed Oct 19, 2011 8:35 pm

I hold an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Chicago I studied at the graduate level at the University of California-but left without a degree. I also did 2 semesters of graduate coursework at Carnegie Mellon in Software Engineer(a kind of cross between business and computer science).

Anyhow, some folks have called me an economist. I think most of my work as more public policy journalism.

I don't think you'd really fix the economics discipline the way you propose. What I would suggest instead:

That a review board be set up to assess the quality of predictions by economists using a level playing field. Predictive ability might be broken down by category. Robin Hanson at George Mason University has written about this general area. The problem isn't really lack of credentials. Some of the best economists I've seen held no academic degrees. The problem is nobody is really accurately assessing predictive ability in any systematic way.

randallburns

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Re: ECONOMISTS

Post by slc8300 on Wed Oct 19, 2011 11:36 pm

[quote="randallburns"] ...I don't think you'd really fix the economics discipline the way you propose. What I would suggest instead: That a review board be set up to assess the quality of predictions by economists...

Hi Randal,
That sounds like a good idea, too.
My belief however is that licensure status provides a Sword of Damocles to the professional - they would have to be accountable to a licensing board which would enforce Ethical violations, and they would have a code of ethics with accountability to the profession and to the public as well as their clients. It would also provide a grievance procedure on a civil level for citizens. Licensure doesn't have to be limited to master level economists; there can be exceptions, however, a licensing exam would screen out anyone below average. It would also add a level of trust and integrity for the public to view economists.

slc8300

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Re: ECONOMISTS

Post by Post Gold Standard on Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:28 pm

"In 1971 Nixon ended the gold standard."

Now I know that's not news to you, but I'm sure you will be surprised to learn, like I did, that all the macro economics classes all across the country and the entire field of economics (including my early 1990's college economics courses) was and is still using macro economics models and myths developed under a gold standard. Only until recently, 2006 or so (almost 40 years later) have economists just barely began to model our real monetary reality as it exist today.

This seemingly simple change makes a vast difference operationally.

At the University level the University of Missouri Kansas City is on the cutting edge.

Here's a very good primer with videos to get you started: http://pragcap.com/resources/understanding-modern-monetary-system

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