In an article by Bloomberg on the 31st of July, 2018, written by Stephanie Flanders, she laments that economists have lost the trust of politicians. She mentions that many past politicians had their 'favored' economists, presumably someone who could be relied on by those politicians. One of the points she makes is that economists are partly the blame for that lost of confidence, as they were more or less ineffective when tasked by politicians to solve big issues.
So what is the solution here? How can economists gain the confidence of politicians once again?
We believe the answer lies in an open mind and a willingness to learn.
The article mentions that economists have mostly been blind to a number of other factors which directly effect the economic solution. Is this willful blindness? Or simply a symptom of rigidity in economic education?
As an economist, it is a terrible sin to simply argue that the textbooks, formulas, and principles will persist and be correct simply because they were always the case. Just like any other field of study, there remains the importance of understanding the principles but not to the point of following them blindly. Nothing is as clear cut as is often seems in this world, and the best of the best are always those who understand the basics through and through, but know when and how much to deviate should the situation call for it.
Those studying economy must always remember one key point: learn from the mistakes of your predecessors, but above all, know the principles well enough before breaking them. Bear in mind that your journey in economics is a long one, full of hardships and trials, but never forget that you are relevant now more than ever - the world's resources are diminishing and the population is growing; an economic crisis might be laying in wait, seizing its chance to send the world into turmoil through one misstep of a government - and you, the new generation, are the key to preventing this. With a modern way of thinking, combined with the astuteness and understanding of traditional economic principles, the ever-adaptable new economist is what the world needs.
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Till the next post, take care.