I suppose some might consider it a good thing that the Economics Oracles are starting to make far less definitive statements and/or predictions.
Consider the following:
- A fantastic series of questions and answers from BBC to leading UK economicist types
- The growth in sales for The Black Swan (a book about the impossibility of economic prediction)
- This type of statement found in a profile of 8 young economists: “Economics is now defined neither by its subject matter nor by its method.”
Someone pointed out to me that I hold this view that economists might not know as much as they claim to because I don’t really know that much about economic theory. That’s true.
However, it is highly unlikely that the current situation is understood by anyone, much less was it accurately predicted. Worse, no one really has a defensible plan of action – economicly speaking.
I posit that there is no way to predict the economy in a far reaching/come up with a national plan kinda way. Like much of what we study, we can understand isolated systems and behaviors. With that useful knowledge we can proceed adjusting our courses in a million ways as we go along. In the end, we just need to make something happen. We need to CREATE and SHAPE what happens next, not predict it.
In that way, it seems very freeing to not be under the constant pressure of the Down Jones average or the Fed rate cuts. The world has always been more complex than that and we’re swimming in that complexity.