“Accept Our Munificent Wisdom…”

Only Really Smart Cool Kids* can comment on policies and decisions that affect all of us

Like a mad aunt, the Fed is slowly losing its marbles.

Kartik Athreya, senior economist for the Richmond Fed, has written a paper condemning economic bloggers as chronically stupid and a threat to public order.

Matters of economic policy should be reserved to a priesthood with the correct post-doctoral credentials, which would of course have excluded David Hume, Adam Smith, and arguably John Maynard Keynes (a mathematics graduate, with a tripos foray in moral sciences).

“Writers who have not taken a year of PhD coursework in a decent economics department (and passed their PhD qualifying exams), cannot meaningfully advance the discussion on economic policy.”

Don’t you just love that throw-away line “decent”? Dr Athreya hails from the University of Iowa.

“The response of the untrained to the crisis has been startling. The real issue is that there is an extremely low likelihood that the speculations of the untrained, on a topic almost pathologically riddled by dynamic considerations and feedback effects, will offer anything new. Moreover, there is a substantial likelihood that it will instead offer something incoherent or misleading.”

So the Fed gurus, who have helped to completely floog the economy, are decreeing that we are too damn stupid to even begin to understand their brilliance.

They can kiss my ass in Macy’s window.

*this obviously includes none of us.

11 Responses to ““Accept Our Munificent Wisdom…””

  1. JeffS says:

    What a pompous jerk. “Startling”? Gimme a break! People are losing their job, savings, and homes, and the response of “untrained” people is “startling”?

    This a$$hole ought to be dropped penniless and shoeless into the middle of Zimbabwe, and told to walk out. I’ll bet the response of this Kartik Athreya would be “startling”.

  2. Skyler says:

    Not even scientists are allowed to dictate public policy. Economists, being an even lower form of life, barely have the privilege of commenting on public policy.

  3. Yojimbo says:

    “..a threat to public order” She must have done her undergraduate work in political theory at KGB Polytechnic in Moscow.

    I thoght economists only existed to make meteorolgists look good.

  4. Yojimbo says:

    During the last election cycle we had the lefty remake of the Manchurian Candidate. Maybe we need the updated verion of Fahrenheit 451. The future seems to be now for this crowd.

  5. Ave says:

    Would they put your ass in Macy’s window?

  6. Robin from Central AZ says:

    Wow, reading that last paragraph of the esteemed Dr.’s lament, it’s difficult to tell whether the author is talking about Big Economics or Big Climate. It’s an interesting convergence of attitudes of “credentialed” authorities in both academic worlds toward those pesky small people who dare question their authority. I suppose once our betters get tired of being proved wrong, they’ll find a way to force us back to those wonderful days when only academic institutions and the gov’t have internet access.

  7. Mr. Bingley says:

    Perhaps during their yearly “Pasty White Sale”?

  8. Dave E. says:

    If Athreya thinks we’re startling now, wait until he sees us with our torches and pitchforks.

  9. JeffS says:

    I forgot to mention what I say to people who wave their (non-medical) doctorate in my face as some sort of trump card:

    “‘PhD’ means “Piled Higher and Deeper.”

  10. Mike says:

    Ok, so I actually have a PhD (though not in Economics), and can’t help but chime in.

    In my experience, having a PhD means you’re allowed to vaguely remember things, and everyone around you thinks “ooh, that must be true, I’d better look into it.”

    That said… I feel like there have been a few articles recently, by economists, arguing that the knowledge of crowds is far more accurate than the experts would expect… for example, ask 1000 people what a gorilla weighs, the average of their answers will be within 1 percent.

    So if the untrained think the economists are wrong, then as long as the untrained outnumber the economists 100 to 1 or more, I’d side with the untrained.

  11. ricki says:

    Does anyone else think this sounds vaguely like a test shot of “let’s limit free speech”? Saying that “untrained” bloggers are “dangerous”?

    (I mean, SERIOUSLY. I tell my STUDENTS that they need to “consider the source.” I think most of my students – who are undergrads, and not the most sophisticated people on earth – have learned pretty quickly what is and is not a reliable source. If these economists can’t figure that out – well, then these “untrained bloggers” are probably far smarter than they are.)

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