Debunking the debunker
Paul Goodman at Conservative Home has spotted an opportunity to debunk the 100 signature strong letter to the Observer, which calls for a Plan B for the economy.
His debunking has nothing to do with the substance of the letter. Perhaps the Tories at Con Home have decided trying to defend Plan A on its own meritis is not a very good idea. Instead he focuses on the fact that some of the 100 cannot be described as ‘leading economists’.
This is an odd argument, as no one in the actual letter claims to be a leading economist.
Goodman’s a bit confused, because the Observer headline, in the article which links to the letter, does refer to them as ‘leading economists’. But inaccurate journalism is hardly the same as a whole range of academics and practitioners pretending to be ’leading economists’ when they’re not.
I could develop the theme by arguing that economics is, in any event, such a degraded profession, that those who work in Economics Departments are absolutely right to reach out to other academic disciplines like philosophy, for support, as they seek new remedies to the damaging orthodoxies of neoliberalism. I could even quote one of the letter’s authors’ Ha-Joon Chang’ in my support:
[E]conomics has been worse than irrelevant. Economics, as it has been practised in the last three decades,has been positively harmful for most people (p .248).
But I won’t go on about it. Regular readers of my stuff already know that, and visiting Tories simply won’t understand.