Adventures in Economic Fairyland

by THE FREEMAN One of the most intractable problems of […]

Image by © Dreamstime

Image by © Dreamstime


One of the most intractable problems of economics is not that it’s a dismal science, although that can be true. It’s that it’s easy to use the discipline to justify telling people what they want to hear.

There is a Wizard of Oz quality about economics, especially these days. Data are treated as tea leaves or Rorschach blots. Macroeconomists, in particular, have become an elite cadre of charlatans. These accusations may seem unfair coming from an organization called the Foundation for Economic Education. But as Hayek wrote, “The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.” We take that task very seriously.

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