Economists do more than just tell people how to spend their money. They actually study how our economy works, and they have some pretty crazy theories on why the economy falls apart and what to do about it. They are good at telling governments what can be done, but they’re never going to tell us how much to spend or cut out of government budgets, so we’ll have to take their advice with a grain of salt.
In general, though like every other area of knowledge, it’s best not to blindly trust economists because they’re human beings like the rest of us, who may make mistakes along the way and over-promise things that are impossible or unrealistic. Business is best when bats need killing is not a guide for how to run your business or your household. We should take their advice with a grain of salt like all other forms of advice, but we should also remember that if they’re giving us advice in the first place, it’s probably good to follow along.
1. Economists are in it for the money.
They work in universities that are supported by government grants, and they make a good living. So there is a tendency for economists to go along with the political systems that exist, even though economists don’t always agree with the policies being promoted. They also have every reason not to rock the boat, because if they get blacklisted by one government, they’re no longer of any use.
2. Economists rely on the prophets of the past for advice and predictions.
They often look to long-dead economists for answers about how to fix our economy, which means that there’s a huge wealth of knowledge available from some of our best economists from hundreds of years ago.
3. They want to change your world.
Economists want to fix the economy, and it’s always easier to sell something transformative like that if you over-promise. They’re trying to make things better, so they are always going to give the impression that they have everything under control. They may not know everything, but because they’re explaining how all of this works in an age when people don’t know much about economics and tend to distrust economists anyway, they don’t want people getting all freaked out over what will happen if certain policies are implemented or not.
4. Economists are not infallible.
They make mistakes and can be wrong, just like everyone else, so we should treat them the same way. Economists aren’t here to completely control everything, just like doctors aren’t here to cure cancer. They’re only human and may sometimes get facts wrong or conclusions wrong. If anything, economists are even more fallible than doctors because they’re talking much less about measurable things and much more about things that can’t be measured.
5. Economists don’t always listen to other economists or know all that much about other fields.
They may know how much something will cost and how many people it will help but have very little idea about the rest of the field, and they don’t often have time to read up on other things that are going on. For example, many economists are not good at statistics either. If a scientist in biology ever made a mistake about something like the effects of some new drug or a new pharmaceutical, economists would know almost nothing about it.
6. Economists have different models and you can’t always trust them.
Economists who work at universities are liberal and left-wingers, which means that much of what economists preach about their field is not based on fact but on ideology . Some economists are always going to be biased, so it’s always good to look at other opinions from those who don’t believe that their agenda is the only agenda that they should follow.
7. Economists can’t predict when the economy will crash, because it’s too unpredictable.
We all know that the economy began crashing in 2008 and there has been a steady decline since then, which means that we can probably expect no slowdown or reversal soon in our constant economic decline. Even if we do see a turnaround, it’s unlikely to be because of anything economists did or didn’t do; it’ll probably have more to do with technology.
8. The economy has become too complex for economists to fix.
Our economy is massive and easily too big for any one or several people, even working together, to completely understand in all its complexities. This means that the best economists can do is try to minimize their losses when things go wrong, which means that it’s still a good idea to listen to them but not in the ways they suggest we listen.
9. Economists use jargon that we don’t understand.
Economists will use terms like stimulus and stimulus package, but to us they mean nothing. This is because we have a limited mental capacity that can only take in so many things at once, and what economists are saying will usually never make sense to us because it’s too technical. So the best thing to do is to pay attention when someone who does understand what’s going on is talking about our economy.
10. Economists love animals and conservation.
Economists are intelligent, caring people who would never want to cause harm to anyone or any creature, which means that if any phenomenon harms the environment, we can always expect them to raise their voices against it. Whether it’s greedy corporations like Monsanto releasing GMO seeds into the wild or farmers killing wildlife by overusing pesticides and herbicides, economists will always be on your side when you’re talking about ways to make our economy more environmentally friendly and sustainable.