… is from the effervescent James Grant’s review, in the Wall Street Journal , of Sylvia Nasar’s new book Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius :
Economics may be an “engine of analysis,” as Alfred Marshall said, or an “apparatus of the mind,” as Keynes put it. But economists no more set the world to producing and consuming than baseball statisticians hit home runs. Then, too, you’ll never see Bill James, the dean of the baseball sabermetricians, trip up a base runner the way the government thwarts an entrepreneur. The intervention-minded economists are the ones who give the government its big ideas.
Beware especially of any economist who poses as a genius.