Economics, Literature and Scepticism

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I am a PhD student in Economics. I am originally from South Africa and plan to return there after my PhD. I completed my M. Comm in Economics and my MA In Creative Writing (Poetry) at the University of Cape Town, where I worked as a lecturer before starting my PhD.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Hard-line Economists?

Posted by Simon Halliday | Sunday, November 23, 2008 | Category: , |

Ed Glaeser, in his recent piece in the NYT, talks about how,

Hard-line economists argue that Detroit lost its way decades ago, and that government support for this industry will be worse than wasteful.
What he actually means is hard-line, the-market-is-perfect-no-it-really-is-flawless right-wing economists who believe that market forces dominate everything and there is no space for government intervention in markets. I am not arguing here that government intervention is warranted in this specific situation, but I marvel at how Glaeser can take such a univocal view of what it means to be a 'hard-line' economist. What about a hard-line Marxist economist? or possibly a hard-line interventionist economist? or a hard-line Austrian economist? No, for Glaeser the term economist must exclude any allusion to ways of thinking that include heterodox or non-neoclassical, non-market fundamentalist views. This is sad. I suspect that other economists, who might view themselves as 'hard-line' just not Glaeser's hard-line might, dissent and oppose Glaeser's views, and I'm not talking about anyone extreme here, Brad DeLong maybe, or Paul Krugman. Thoughts?

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