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The Economic Idiocy of Economists

With a brain trust like this, a lost decade for America looks likely – unless the citizenry can steer a different course.

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What the budget hawks are basically telling us is that we must assume that insurance and pharmaceutical companies will have a veto over the provisions of healthcare reform for decades to come. And that, therefore, we must find other ways to make up for these excessive costs, including cutting social security and other government spending, and pushing us into higher rates of poverty and inequality than we already have.

And even worse in the short run, all this crap about the deficit and the debt will be used to block the necessary stimulus measures – "stimulus" has already become a dirty word that Democratic politicians are afraid to utter. This means high unemployment and a lot of unnecessary misery in the world's richest country for the foreseeable future.

A dismal performance for the dismal science, on some of the most important issues of the day. Of course, there are other economists, including Nobel Prize winners such as Paul Krugman, Joe Stiglitz and Robert Solow (full disclosure: the latter two are members of CEPR's advisory board), who would offer more sensible views. But this panel was, sadly, representative of economists with the most influence on public policy.

With a brain trust like this, a lost decade for America looks likely – unless the citizenry can steer a different course.

Mark Weisbrot is Co-Director and co-founder of the Center for Economic and Policy Research . He received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Michigan. He is co-author, with Dean Baker, of Social Security: The Phony Crisis (University of Chicago Press, 2000), and has written numerous research papers on economic policy. He is also president of Just Foreign Policy .

 
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