This is rather off-topic compared to what I usually write about, but anyhow.  What’s the point of a blog if you can’t say what you think.

I came across this acticle recently which goes some way to summarising what I have been saying for some time (even before the economic downturn over the last year or so), which is that Economics is a discredited discipline.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/article5689642.ece

What has become clear over the last year is (a) most economists have absolutely no idea about what is really going on, and (b) the profession of Economics itself has no culture or mechanism for admitting failure. Therefore it also has no concept of attempting to improve itself. When a problem or disaster ocurrs in disciplines such as IT, medicine, engineering and so on, people hold their hands up and admit it.  Especially in engineering, there are clear procedures and expectations on people to understand the cause of the failure, and then to learn, and improve. 

This notion seems to be totally lacking in Economics:  I have seen not a single economist over the last year saying ‘actually, we don’t fully understand this stituation – we’re learning to understand it though, for the benefit of the public’.  Such statements are commonplace in most other disciplines.  Why is it that Economics has absolutely no notion of self-doubt?  Why is it that it has been allowed to be dressed up like a branch of chemistry, when, it seems to me, it is nothing more than guess work?