I get it: economists aren’t cool. It’s fashionable to complain about them without understanding the first thing about the discipline. Ordinarily that sort of thing is easy to ignore. But sometimes, though very rarely, it produces that special sort of stupid that you can’t help but cherish! Today is one of those beautiful days and we can thank Ross Gittins for providing it.
His lengthy rant, which I don’t recommend ploughing through, accuses economists of being idiots for not solving all the world’s problems before they happened. So far, so dull. The good part comes when he tells us his solution to all the stupid economists:
She was Elinor Ostrom, a professor of political science at Indiana University, who devoted much of her career to combing the world looking for examples where people had developed ways of regulating their use of common resources without resort to either private property rights or government intervention.
For her pains, Ostrom, who died last month, was awarded the Nobel prize in economics in 2009, the first woman so honoured.
Whoah, hold up there, the solution to all the dumb economists is… more economics?! Yes, apparently what we need are more Nobel prize-winning economists, drawing on their cross-disciplinary expertise to make the world a better place. Not the solution I was expecting but I can’t say I disagree!
HT: Bernard Hickey.