What do history's most notorious despots have in common with many of the flag-waving, patriotic politicians of our day? Both groups rise to power through the exploitation of fear, which has become a societal plague. There have been widespread casualties. We need an antidote. Feardom offers its readers a much-needed immunization.
photo credit: mountainbeliever
In an effort to advise and appease a concerned public, economists are frequently paraded around in the media to offer their outlook on our collective financial future. Treated by many as sagacious oracles in possession of some magic crystal ball, their pundit hosts and media sounding boards further amplify the perceived wisdom of these individuals. In truth, the vast majority of economists are little more than shills for present public policy and gain their popularity only by spouting off sound bytes crafted by the federal government’s economic advisory team.
These statist apologists have been absolutely wrong (as recent events have so aptly demonstrated), yet they are still allowed to peddle their Keynesian snake oil in the same media outlets without admitting their horrible record of predictions and future economic outlook.
A recent post on the Naked Capitalism blog highlights this issue thusly:
We have just witnessed them make a massive failure in diagnosis. Despite the fact that there was rampant evidence of trouble on various fronts — a housing bubble in many countries (the Economist had a major story on it in June 2005 and as readers well know, prices rose at an accelerating pace), rising levels of consumer debt, stagnant average worker wages, lack of corporate investment, a gaping US trade deficit, insanely low spreads for risky credits — the authorities took the “everything is for the best in this best of all possible worlds” posture until the wheels started coming off. And even when they did, the vast majority were constitutionally unable to call its trajectory.
For years there has been outright ridicule and denigration of anybody who criticized the underlying unstable economic foundation upon which our bubble had been inflated. With a DJIA cut in half, trillions of investment dollars wiped out, unemployment rates on the rise, insolvent state governments desperate for cash, and entire markets imploding, the question that must be directed to these babbling buffoons is: who’s laughing now?
Sadly, the brunt of the joke is the American people, since they are still turning for economic advise and predictions to the very people (and their philosophical predecessors) who got us into this mess! Because of their ignorance, they are continuously duped by the fact that the economists’ crystal balls are mere stage props used to foist an ulterior motive on a dumbed down people.
Advocates of and adherents to the Austrian business cycle theory accurately predicted the current economic crisis we are in, warning us as prophets in the wilderness for years. Just as their philosophical predecessors predicted the Great Depression, so too did the modern Austrians see the glaring warning signs and attempt to warn people about the threats we faced. Unfortunately, very few people are willing to swallow tough medicine in a time of engorged feasting.
Politicians—advised by the same economists who supported the policies that got us into this mess—scurry about, trying to look busy and solve problems. Appearances are made and hearings are held with leaders of national finance and economic regulation. But for all the spinning wheels, nobody considers implementing the suggestions of the individuals who actually foresaw this scenario (those previously referenced as “doom and gloom” naysayers). Instead, we are fed more of the same poison that put us in this pickle to begin with.
As children grow older and wiser, they learn that the common myths and magic of their youth are fallacies. There is no Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, or Tooth Fairy. Rabbits can’t magically appear out of hats, and people can’t survive being cut in half with a saw. But somehow, the overwhelming majority of people continue clinging to the fairy tale that media-embraced economists possess a crystal ball that grants them insight into our future. Until America wakes up and rejects these impostors, we must brace ourselves for more centralized, statist Keynesian government intervention into the marketplace. In short, this sleight of hand magic trick results in you being pick pocketed. Abra cadabra!