Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Dubner on the Influence of Economists in the White House

Here's an interesting article on Freakonomics by Dubner on the role of economists in the White House. Here's his concluding statement:

So while I don’t doubt ... that the economists heading to Washington have probably just concluded the best week of their new jobs ... I do hold considerable hope that the best instincts of academic economics can be harnessed to make a positive difference for the U.S. economy and even its political and social structure.

That’s not to say there aren’t a lot of bad instincts too — a certain arrogance that accompanies many economists’ arguments, a willingness to argue the minor points forever while forgetting the major goals in play, etc. — but if the U.S. electorate could choose its first minority president, is it really too much to ask that a little bit of the best economic research could trickle down into the White House?

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