If someone who knows not the slightest thing about neurosurgery beyond what he infers by pondering his own skull takes a scalpel to a patient’s brain, the patient suffers a gruesome death and the pretend-healer is exposed immediately as a charlatan. Matters, alas, differ in economics. Pretend-economists often not only get away with the most bizarre quackery, but receive applause for practicing it.
Fortunately, the blogosphere has in it true scholars such as George Selgin to expose pretenders. Here’s George’s brilliant exposé of one Izabella Kaminska. Do treat yourself to the pure pleasure of reading George’s prose and absorbing his learning. A slice from near the beginning:
Tell me I’m not with it, if you must, but the fact is that until a couple of days ago I’d never heard of Izabella Kaminska, who bills herself as a “finance blogger” and believer in something called the “collaborative economy,” in which sharing things takes the place of buying and selling them, the result being, she claims, a reduced carbon footprint.
Although I rather doubt that we’re likely to witness an end to our “propensity to truck and barter” anytime soon, I don’t doubt that such an event would in fact reduce carbon emissions: there would, for one thing, be a lot less less breathing going on. But what concerns me isn’t Ms. Kaminska’s general economic philosophy, to call it that. It’s her vertiginous spin on free banking, which she saw fit to air this past week, first on FT Alphaville, and then on a blog of her own called, appropriately enough, Dizzynomics.