Sure we give lip service to fairness, and we may sincerely believe that we care about it, but that mostly expresses itself as sincere outrage when our side is treated unfairly.
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While in practice economics is full of folks promoting various sides, one of the reasons I am proud to be an economist is that we have a good standard neutral analysis criteria, economic welfare, for judging policies
Welfare economics used to be known as normative economics because it uses value judgments to tell us what we should do. Is it accurate to describe any methodology based on value judgments as ‘neutral’? I don’t know a lot about the subject, but would those who do not subscribe to some form of utilitarianism find the economic framework ‘neutral’? Matt talks a lot about making our assumptions apparent and I fear that trying to paint ourselves as neutral obscures the nature of the framework within which we operate.