OPINION: Thomas DiLorenzo - Economic Witch Doctors

OPINION:  Thomas DiLorenzo - Economic Witch Doctors

“Most economists are political apologists masquerading as economists,” wrote investor and author Doug Casey in an online article entitled “How Economic Witch Doctors Convince Everyone They’re Really Neurosurgeons.”  They “tailor theories to help politicians demonstrate the [alleged] virtue and necessity of their quest for more power” — so much so that economics has become “the handmaiden of government.” 

Evidence of Casey’s contention abounds, and is a major theme of my new book, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Economics.

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman has been teaching economics for decades, during which time a recession was defined in all the textbooks — most certainly including the ones that he used in his classes — as two consecutive quarters of negative GDP “growth.”  That did not stop him from shamefully telling a CNN audience on July 31 that this time, the textbook definition of recession does not apply.  There’s too much conservative bias in the media, he ludicrously complained, blaming that for all the talk about recession.

This is the same Paul Krugman who once predicted that the internet would have no more impact on the economy than fax machines; that declaring an impeding invasion from Mars would, in theory, cause an explosion in defense spending that would be good for the economy; and who wrote in a 2002 Times column, in the wake of the 2001 Nasdaq crash, that Federal Reserve Board Chairman “Alan Greenspan needs to create a housing bubble to replace the Nasdaq bubble.”  Fellow economic witch doctor Greenspan did, and the bursting of that Fed-created bubble caused the “Great Recession” of 2008 and the subsequent explosion of even more government intervention, corporate welfare bailouts, and money creation, quaintly renamed “quantitative easing.”

Read more at LewRockwell.com


A retired economics professor, DiLorenzo is a senior fellow at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, and the author of 14 books including How Capitalism Saved AmericaHamilton's Curse, The Real Lincoln:  A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda and an Unnecessary War and The Trouble with Lincoln