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Sixteen Nobel economists once again prove that our “expert” class is expert at nothing

Our modern intellectual class
Our modern intellectual class

Earlier this week a group of sixteen Nobel laureate economists issued a public letter endorsing Joe Biden’s economic agenda and claiming that a return of Donald Trump to the White House would lead to economic ruin.

“We believe that a second Trump term would have a negative impact on the U.S.’s economic standing in the world, and a destabilizing effect on the U.S.’s domestic economy,” the economists write in the letter. “Many Americans are concerned about inflation, which has come down remarkably fast. There is rightly a worry that Donald Trump will reignite this inflation, with his fiscally irresponsible budgets.”

You can read their letter here. It was signed by the following (the date of their Nobel award in parenthesis):

George A. Akerlof (2001), Sir Angus Deaton (2015), Claudia Goldin (2023), Sir Oliver Hart (2016), Eric S. Maskin (2007), Daniel L. McFadden (2000), Paul R. Milgrom (2020), Roger B. Myerson (2007), Edmund S. Phelps (2006), Paul M. Romer (2018), Alvin E. Roth (2012), William F. Sharpe (1990), Robert J. Shiller (2013), Christopher A. Sims (2011), Joseph Stiglitz (2001), and Robert B. Wilson (2020).

What is hilarious about their letter is how it exposes these so-called economic giants as partisan hacks. A dive into their campaign contributions finds that eleven are donors to Joe Biden or the Democrats, while the remaining five have all previously endorsed Biden publicly. Before the 2020 election two of these sixteen economists signed a similar letter, calling for Joe Biden’s election, claiming he would “…build an economy that works for all Americans.” In 2021 thirteen of these same economists then followed up with another letter, endorsing all of Biden’s spending proposals then before Congress (costing an expected $1.9 trillion).

A comparison between the claims in all three letters and what actually happened also reveals how little these economists know about economics. As noted at this City Journal article by James Piereson:

The expert economists were badly mistaken on inflation. They said that Biden’s spending packages would “ease inflationary pressures,” but everyone understands today that those same policies stoked inflation. When they signed their 2021 letter, the consumer price index stood at 273; since then, it has surged by at least 15 percent, to its recent level of 313. This is called “being wrong.”

Interest rates have also surged since then, much to the detriment of prospective homebuyers and those planning large expenditures for autos, home appliances, and school and college tuitions. The interest rate on 30-year mortgages has more than doubled since the 2021 letter, from 2.8 percent to above 7 percent today. The prime lending rate, used by banks for most loans, swelled from 3.2 percent in 2021 to 8.5 percent today. The economists would do well to ponder their performance as forecasters.

In addition, Biden’s plans not only squelched economic growth, it increased the annual deficits to ungodly numbers while exploding the overall federal debt, the exact opposite of what these so-called economic experts claimed would happen. As Piereson concludes:

In sum, the Nobel laureates praising Biden’s policies today (and criticizing Trump) are the same ones who recommended policies that ignited inflation, drove up interest rates, wrecked the housing market, ballooned the deficit and expenditures on interest, stifled economic growth, and underestimated the true costs of these policies.

Judging by their track record, when it comes to economic policymaking, these prize-winning economists have no idea what they are talking about.

The actions of these Nobel laureates also reveal one other very disturbing fact: That each of these hacks received Nobel prizes tells us something about the Nobel Prize itself. When it comes to the soft sciences or the political realm, any prize given by the Nobel committee is nothing more than a political endorsement of the leftist agenda, having nothing to do with real research, knowledge, or achievement.

The impoverished nature of the Nobel committee was first revealed when it awarded Barack Obama its annual peace prize less than a year after he took office. The guy hadn’t really yet done anything, but the committee wanted to push his agenda, so it gave it to him as a feel-good gesture.

Overall, this whole story provides more evidence that the world’s entire intellectual class has become utterly bankrupt. They can’t do good critical analysis. They let partisan political agendas warp their thinking. And in the end, everything they do is slipshod, unreliable, and actually dangerous to everyone else.

Time for a house-cleaning
Time for a house-cleaning

It is way past time for a major house-cleaning, and that job is going to have to fall to ordinary people, the kind of people the Nobel committee and these economists likely consider beneath contempt, deplorable conspiracy believers who — heaven forbid! — might even vote for Donald Trump!

That repeatedly the political “conspiracy theories” of ordinary people — from the Russian collusion hoax to Biden’s declining mental health — continue to be proven true, while the claims and judgments of this global left-leaning intellectual community keep getting proven wrong, only underlines the need for a house-cleaning.

What good are experts when they not only don’t know what they are doing, they still march forward blindly doing those same stupid things?

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

 

The print edition can be purchased at Amazon. Or you can buy it directly from the author and get an autographed copy.

 
The ebook is available everywhere for $5.99 (before discount) at amazon, or direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit. If you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and the author gets a bigger cut much sooner.


The audiobook is also available at all these vendors, and is also free with a 30-day trial membership to Audible.
 

"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs."--San Antonio Express-News

15 comments

  • I don’t know that I would call Economics a ‘soft’ science. I have not studied it specifically, but I have studied Mathematics. Economists have done significant work in math, especially in Topology. One of the more elegant fixed-points proofs came from an economist.

    And, the post illustrates the old joke: if you laid economists end-to-end, you still wouldn’t reach a conclusion.

  • This is the poster boy for your post:

    Biden’s Economic Adviser Tries and Fails To Explain How Money Works: https://youtu.be/1Fj0zRmEWYc?si=mTrZM1W30wZC0Hgp

    Genius, Jared Bernstein, financial adviser to the Biden government has a degree in music and he is an accredited social worker.

    He appears to be one level under Janet Yellen.

    You remember Ms. Yellen: “Inflation should be transitory”.

    “U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said she was wrong about how severe inflation would be. In an interview with CNN, Yellen was shown previous remarks she’d made last year where she indicated there would only be a “small risk” of inflation, and that it would be “manageable.”

    Two Destroy the Patriarchy Democrat Globalist geniuses.

  • John Fisher

    Economics is a soft science. It is 50% common sense (see Sowell’s Basic Economics) and 50% bull. The bull starts when you see calculus symbols. Many economists use elaborate math – it may appear elegant but it is useless as a tool to deal with a subject that starts and ends with human behavior. Aside – that Thomas Sowell never won a Nobel Prize in Economics is the perfect indicator of what our host said about the Nobel committee.

  • Jeff Wright

    Sowell had his own axe to grind–P. J. O’ Rourke believed culture also tempered economics.

    The Swedes are lefties, but edicts of Jante’ means they are not spongers.

    There is corruption in China, but not like warlords in Africa where currency has worthless trillion dollar notes.

    Culture matters.

  • wayne

    Keynes Vs. Hayek Round Two
    Emergent Order, April 2011
    https://youtu.be/GTQnarzmTOc
    10:09

    “The economy’s not a car. There’s no engine to stall.
    No experts can fix it. There’s no “it” at all.
    The economy is us.
    Put away your wrenches, the economy is organic.”

    “The lesson I’ve learned is how little we know.
    The world is complex, not some circular flow.
    The economy is not a class you master in college, to think otherwise is the pretense of knowledge.”

  • Max

    I used to read Paul Krugman in the newspaper when there used to be a newspaper. I was trying to figure out how a person could be so full of predictions that never come true.
    It must be fictitious Science working backwards, you form conclusions, then adjust the information and the math to fit your conclusions to what your audience wants to hear. That’s how you help scam artists fool investors to make money… why it’s generally agreed that Statistics lie.

    Global warming/climate change is their best lie yet, netting billions/trillions of dollars without the hope of changing 1° of temperature. (The modern version of the Tower of Babel)

    Backing Biden is the money move, not science.
    Advice given and taken with the wrong consequences. It just goes to show you, that even though a broken clock can be right twice a day… Most economist can’t even perform that function. Wayne’s statement rings so true…

    “Put away your wrenches, the economy is organic.”

  • wayne

    “Margin Call” (2011)
    The Rocket Scientist Explains It to The Senior Partners
    https://youtu.be/7prnY2FOxns
    9:48

  • Max

    Speaking of major disruptions under the Biden regime, why do you think this is happening and can trump stop it?

    “ MUST SEE: Map Shows All Food Processing Plants That Have Burned Down, Blown Up or Been Destroyed Under Biden “. Over 100

    https://wltreport.com/2024/06/28/must-see-map-shows-all-food-processing-plants/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=must-see-map-shows-all-food-processing-plants

  • Concerned

    Some of the most stupid people I know have PhDs.
    Going to college and hanging around academia demonstrably saps your judgement.
    By the time you achieve Nobel status, your wherewithal is completely shot, gone.

  • J Fincannon

    >Some of the most stupid people I know have PhDs.

    Indeed.

  • Col Beausabre

    Econ Professor when I was getting my MBA. “Ladies and Gentlemen, the real world is a special, extreme case we will ignore”

    I THINK he was trying to be humorous.

    The most momentous “discovery” in the last half century in Econ is CAPM – The Capital Asset Pricing Model aka M&M which states that as the likelihood of a positive outcome becomes more risky, the investor has a greater chance of losing his money and so demands a greater reward for his money if it turns out positive. Think about how it took half a dozen PhD’s to figure out the obvious.

  • pzatchok

    Before the 401K came along we used to watch the stock market and hope it stayed the same or went down.

    Every time it went down the little people earning below the national average gained vs inflation.
    When the stock market went up the little people lost vs inflation.
    The rich got richer and the poor got poorer.

    But as soon as almost everyone was in some way connected to the stock market they all started cheering for it and so far, have pretty much, lost sight of pay increases vs inflation.

    The very poor though feel it even more.
    Just look at the current rate of inflation. Drop out food and energy increases and inflation does not exist.
    Who can ignore food and energy inflation? Those with good 401k’s and more.

    I though have learned over time that the more of your own money you control the better off you are. The less your government takes and controls the better.
    I would like to see our income tax removed to be replaced with a national sales tax, with NO exemptions at all, including business, food and energy. That way those who spend more pay more. Those who save pay nothing on what they save.

  • Democrat party and their Globalist operatives, all fraud and lies all the time.

    https://nypost.com/2024/06/29/us-news/janet-yellen-grocery-shops-after-tone-deaf-remarks-about-soaring-prices/

    Yellen, worth $20 million and probably has not been out shopping for herself for decades is humanizing her profile.

    I guess they assume that the majority of the country is so dumb, you know being Democrats, Liberals and blue haired radicals, that their theatre of the mind is the reality that must be believed.

    Here is something that New Yorkers are required to believe: https://www.sigma3ioc.com/post/how-government-works-ass-backwards

    Is everyone that dumb? Stand by.

  • Ciampino

    I noticed there is only one woman in that lot: Claudia Goldin (2023),
    Did the Nobel Committee in 2023 decide a woman should win regardless of merit? This is similar to ascribing AA for a non-White person’s achievements, whether real or imagined.

  • Edward

    pzatchok wrote: “Drop out food and energy increases and inflation does not exist.

    The government’s inflation figures dropped out food and energy from its inflation numbers three or four decades ago. The government shows that there currently is still much inflation even without food and energy included in their calculation. However, the government’s numbers do not give the real picture that we live through, because food and energy are an important (large) part of our expenses.

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