No one ever went broke underestimating the inefficiencies of government, such as why the Law of Economy (Ockham’s razor) is never a factor when bureaucrats get together on the topic of economics. Sure, more money can be thrown at it, with more committee’s committed to it, and more studies called for employing even more people to analyze it, when the “it” involves something so complicated, so convoluted in scope that even approaching a modicum of understanding would confer genius status, but is economics really that complicated?
I understand folks like Ben Bernanke, Tim Geithner, and Paul Krugman are smart fellows, equipped with the best degrees money can buy and prestigious colleges can offer, but look where that has gotten us. I wonder what Jefferson would say when told that today we need experts in congress, not citizen/politicians like he had envisioned, the cream of the crop from the colonies, men who had great personal economies and great successes in translating those economies to wealth and influence, but now leaders of industry are not enough, more academic pinheads are needed.
Almost 80 percent of lawmakers might need to crack open an economics textbook before the congressional recess ends, a new study on Tuesday suggests.
The vast majority of members lack an academic background in business or economics, according to a study by the Employment Policies Institute, a nonprofit group that takes a conservative stand on fiscal issues. Only 13.7 percent majored in business or accounting, and 8.4 percent have an economics degree.
“How many members of Congress have an academic background that provided them with a basic understanding how the economy works? The answer, it turns out, is not many,” the report concluded.
Is this really where we are now, where the majority of our leaders can’t understand the simple basics of budgets, money in/money out, not spending more then what you make, and the dangers of deficit spending without a friggin’ certificate on their wall conferring to them a doctorate of economics degree? Only Wharton graduates need apply now?
Que the gratuitous economist joke:
A mathematician, an accountant and an economist apply for the same job.
The interviewer calls in the mathematician and asks “What do two plus two equal?” The mathematician replies “Four.” The interviewer asks “Four, exactly?” The mathematician looks at the interviewer incredulously and says “Yes, four, exactly.”
Then the interviewer calls in the accountant and asks the same question “What do two plus two equal?” The accountant says “On average, four – give or take ten percent, but on average, four.”
Then the interviewer calls in the economist and poses the same question “What do two plus two equal?” The economist gets up, locks the door, closes the shade, sits down next to the interviewer and says, “What do you want it to equal”?
Isn’t the point being that whether it’s 2 plus 2, or $2 trillion plus $2 trillion, numbers can’t be fudged and the solution is pretty much the same?
I don’t think the problem is that not enough of our leaders don’t hold economics degrees, the problem is that not enough of them have had sufficient life experiences and sufficient training that goes with those experiences. Given the upbringing and background of our president, the codling and interference other people ran for him in his quest through life, his lack of real adversity (character builder) his lack of actual job experience, where he is at now and his attitudes should not be any surprise to anyone.
Maybe the problem lies in the people that vote these clowns in to office and the vetting (or lack of) that the media does on candidates. It is difficult for representatives to represent the folks when those selected don’t understand simple things like balancing a checkbook, putting off that vacation because the car needs new tires, taking that second job because piano listens for the kid aren’t cheap, and doing whatever it takes to pay off that credit card debt because it is your debt and can’t be sooped off to someone else or the next generation.
Character, integrity, and personal industry, these I hold much higher in esteem for an elected official then some sheepskin hanging on a wall. Somebody with common sense enough to realize how inefficient and destructive Keynesian economics has become, someone who sets the bar a bit higher and strives to emulate an Adam Smith, David Ricardo, the Austrian school, or Frederich Hayek.
And speaking of Hayek vs. Keynes:
Nice gun fire sound effects, now that is rap.