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Should We Trust Economists?


by Pierre-Guy Veer, Mises:

We live in a complex world. So logically we need complex solutions to our problems, right? Not according to certain people; according to them, we just have to follow the advice of economists. That way, most of our problems would be solved. The problem is the politicians, who keep us from benefiting from that sound advice. But is that so?

It all depends on what is defined as an economist. The French Wiktionnary, along with its definition of economist (“a person specializing in matters of political-economy”), quotes two famous French economists, Turgot and Bastiat. The former says that an economist’s motto is “laissez faire, laissez passer” (i.e. let us act on our own, without government intervention), while the latter says that a bad economist is one that prefers immediate, short-term good results at the expense of long-term consequences, which are usually bad.

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