Walter Rhett

Economic Snake Oil

In National Affairs on August 17, 2010 at 3:15 pm

Here’s a “why and how” narrative for a plausible scenario: The management of global economics has been taken over by snake-oil sales people, but bear in mind they are not intrinsically evil or corrupt. They have a product to push. They engage in the same inflated happy talk as all whose products are not as solid or well working as hoped for and need some shoring up. A favorite strategy is to push the product hard against resistance as an indication of confidence and steadfastness in its benefits. Its virtues become accepted and believed.
Those who study the daily marco-numbers are tone-deaf to historic analogies about their roles and are often fuzzy about the numbers which supposedly are their specialities. They fail to use Occam’s razor to test their decision outcomes. Without a better grasp of political economy, or comparisons to historic examples, or a winning plan of action, they take the path of least resistance to achieve their mission and leave the structural brokeness for others to pick over the bones.
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