A Bloomberg columnist argues that economists should stay out of politics

- August 22nd, 2012

Quite frankly, I find Laurence Kotlikoff’s argument here absolutely absurd:

Some 500 of my colleagues in economics, almost all academics, have signed a statement applauding former Governor Mitt Romney’s economic plan and condemning President Barack Obama’s handling of the economy. The statement amounts to an endorsement of Romney’s presidential candidacy. As such, it represents a disservice to the economics profession as well as to the statement’s signatories, five of whom are Nobel laureates.

The decision of the 500 U.S. economists, many from the leading ranks of the profession, to trade in their credentials as economists for that of campaign workers is just the latest sign that something’s rotten in economics.

Read the rest at Economists Risk Labeling as Political Hacks – Bloomberg.

Categories: Economy, US Politics

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2 comments

  1. Grant says:

    It is absurd. (I wonder if Kotlikoff would have taken pen in hand if the five hundred had voiced support of Obama’s ‘plan’.)
    Supportive economist’s views are always paraded by the various political parties.
    Perhaps he should be giving some consideration to their views, particularly in light of the Congressional Budget Office’s forecast. Considering a planned termination of tax relief legislation and a tightened economy – ‘the unemployment rate rising to about 9 percent in the second half of calendar year 2013.’

  2. Andrew Baldwin says:

    Thank you for pointing this out, Mr. Aiken. I read Professor Kotlikoff’s diatribe using your link. The absurd thing is he is guilty himself of exactly what he chastizes. For example, there is a reference to America fighting “two futile wars”, obviously a reference to Afghanistan and Iraq. He also doesn’t like the idea of an economic history professor like Niall Ferguson publishing an anti-Obama piece in major magazines. It seems to me whether you agree with Professor Ferguson or not he has recharged a debate in the US on economic issues, and considering the parlous state of the American economy, that has to be a good thing.

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