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Bonus Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 122 of Deirdre McCloskey’s important 1990 volume, If You’re So Smart: The Narrative of Economic Expertise:

The knowledge that would make fine tuning [of the economy by government] possible would make the economists who have it fabulously wealthy.

DBx: Indeed so. And the very same logic that leads McCloskey to this indisputable conclusion about economists who claim to know enough to advise government to ‘fine tune’ the macroeconomy applies with equal force, in very many cases, to economists, and other scholars, who claim to know enough to advise government to ‘fine tune’ particular markets, including labor markets.

I very seldom disagree with David Henderson, and when I do I worry. No hyperbole or false modesty. But I do confidently disagree with David’s insistence that what McCloskey calls “the American question” – “If you’re so smart why ain’t you rich?” – is an inappropriate response to academics, such as Eric Posner, who claim to identify large profit opportunities in the market but who also refuse to act on their claims.

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