Lifted directly from comments by cactus from the open thread:
Economics is not a science. Physics wouldn’t be a science either if esteemed members of that profession who got prestigious jobs running the country were willing to make statements that contradict all known facts. But here’s the thing – if the administration’s position is that you can use gravel as fuel in a nuclear power plant (a convenient position give that gravel is so much cheaper than uranium), they’re going to have a hard time finding eminent physicists willing to agree with that position, and any physicists that did agree would quickly cease to be eminent physicists.
But consider an equivalent economic position. In 2001 told us we were going to get tax cuts, resulting in a rapidly growing economy leading to debt falling to 7% of GDP in 2011. This is extremely similar to the promising you will get electricity from a pile of gravel. But, there was no shortage of well-known economists willing to explain why that plan was, indeed, going to work. And they explained it over and over. Since then, they have gone to explain to us why things haven’t worked out as planned… and wouldn’t you know it, it has nothing to do with the fact that they used gravel to try to run a nuclear power plant. Instead, the problem seems to be that some terrorists slammed some planes into the WTC.
Which brings us to, well us. See, its our fault that economics is not a science. The folks who peddled this line of bs to us, the folks who promised that gravel was going to produce electricity and have since been making all sorts of excuses and promises that it really will work the next time its tried, are still around, and still held in high esteem. The Harvard Professor, the governor, the ivy league business school dean, and the rest of that crowd don’t feel a need to hide their faces in shame the way their counterparts in physics would.
No, they’ve been well rewarded for their actions, and still continue to be honored by others in the profession they so badly denigrated. So the lesson is clear – this is the most lucrative way to behave. By sending this message, we have dishonored ourselves, and we have paved the way for the next Harvard professor, the next governor, and the next business school dean.
Lifted from comments by cactus