Ficam aqui algumas passagens:
“(…)But why would the world of politics ever permit that reading?! Politics is not about ‘truth tracking’, it is about power seeking.(…)”
“(…)The role of the economist, properly understood, is that of a (1) Teacher of the principles of a discipline [e.g., specialization and exchange; demand curves slope downward; people respond to incentives; dispersed knowledge is coordinated through the price system, etc.], (2) Student fo society [e.g., technical scientist working hard to identify the filter processes and equilibrium tendencies in operation in economic systems; historical scholarship on the processes of social change, etc.], and (3) Social Critic who uses the tools of the discipline of economics to place parameters on notions of utopia [e.g., means-ends analysis of proposed public policies, etc.].
All 3 roles, as Henry Simons put it, allow economics as a discipline to serve as a prophylactic against popular fallacies. When economists loose sight of their role in society and attempt to push the discipline into a tool for advocacy, the prophylactic function can become compromised and societies may become pregnant with fallacies to their deteriment. Socialism and fascism are two such instances, but I would argue that even the more mild attempts at constructivist social engineering exhibit these tendencies, e.g., Keynesian inspired foreign aid programs in Africa. You cannot be a little bit pregnant! Bad ideas lead to bad public policies which result in bad results.(…)”
“(…)Second, to point out what role the economist plays in society (Teacher, Student, Social Critic). Economics per se does not lend itself to advocacy of this or that policy, it does provide wisdom on the spontaneous ordering of society, and technical knowledge on means-ends efficiency. Economics must be combined with some moral sentiments (themselves up for debate) to be transformed into advocacy. But the discipline independent of moral assessment provides us with knowledge that places parameters on people’s utopia. Wishing it so doesn’t make it so, and economics tells us why. So much of political campaigning is about selling wishful thinking to a population that doesn’t know any better. Economics has not only a role to play, but a unique and powerful role in serving as the prophylactic against public fallacies. We need to defend the structural integrity of that prophylactic so it can do its job! (…)”