i imagine reinhardt has heard of paradigms and their shifts, just as many have heard of 'just say no'. i think people have been predicitng a paradigm shift in econ since the 30's (GDP growth was just a very rough and simple thing to calculate, rather than a 'sign' correlated to the arrival of the final days, omega point, etc.---but then its calculation became an industry, hopefully soon to be outsourced since who has the time for low level labor?).
also, the standard economists in my view to a large extent are 'model builders' (somewhat like DNA scientists who build models, and aren't too worried if then someone leaves the lab and starts a geneology or 'genetic risk assessment ' company based on some anecdotal findings published in science or nature). many of them actually seem quite aware of the theoretical possibilities of what is now occuring; they often don't bother with any real data. also, their pop columns in NYT and WSJ often are at odds with their theoretical findings---Paul Krugman (supposedly a liberal due to his antibush views) for example dismissed links between globalization and inequality (and ridiculed the Seattle WTO protestors) when some of his own theoretical models showed what they were complaining abiout was quite possible, just depending on parameter values. many of the big names in 'general equilibrium theory' from my reading didn't think it was 'true', but even so
thought it was as worth studying as the 'ideal gas' which is also basically usually a false (approximate) model . paul samuelson more or less suggested that financial analyses was impossible and hence a waste of time/money and a non industry (though, acceptable as a Religion). the 'right wing' economist mankiw at Harvard has a paper on his site from 89 suggesting that housing was being overbuilt and a bubble was coming for example; he is also a carbon tax/pigou club supporter over cap-and-trade, which is supposedly more radical/rational, so its hard to pigeonhole people. (of course the pigou club may actually just be a 'false flag operation' used to stop any consensus. at HU, alesina, glaeser, hall, as a start (...ad nauseum) seem to be really bad---sometimes using good logic to support bad conclusions; like shockley who knew some physics, and herrnstein who knew some psychology. ) shiller who basically did predictt the housing bubble (but
i think f-ked up with his other ideas if you do a little homework) also has suggested that the solution is a) more financial instruments like derivatives (ie a bail out of Yale grad students whose time is too valvuable to spend in soup kitchen lines unlikes the lessers), and also b) put everything on the market, and have a people's capitalism where everything is for sale.
at least that is honest.
with friends like this...who needs anything but XCB on imeem.com?
i heard this guy on cspan today ---chris hayes of the nation. his 2006 article in "in these times' on 'what we learn about economics' about UC is quite instructive including the comments. they even talk about fairness, efficiency and morality in econ.
--- On Fri, 1/9/09, Michael H Goldhaber <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> From: Michael H Goldhaber <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: "An economist's mea culpa"
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Date: Friday, January 9, 2009, 8:55 PM
> Uwe Reinhardt is a well-known economist, specializing in
> health care issues and frequently regarded as the greatest
> expert in that field. That makes his commnenbst on the
> "science" of economics interesting
> Too bad Reinhardt doesn't seem to have heard of the
> idea of paradigms and their shifts. But also, the vast
> majority of the economics profession has gotten a lot more
> wrong than the betting on sub-prime mortgages. There is the
> ideology of the desirability endless growth, which would be
> mistaken even if natural resources were not an issue, since
> "growth" could involve things that don't
> require resources particularly, such as greater
> miniaturization or better compute programs. Another problem
> is the suggestion that ever-rising productivity is good,
> since the effect of it has been to increase economic
> inequality. We are now living in a world where, for the
> first time in human history there is not enough meaningful
> routine work to go around. Teh inherent value of enhanced
> global trade is another issue.
> Without the housing bubble, the American economy would have
> been quite anemic for the past decade or so; the stimulus
> package and other ideas advanced by Obama do not seem enough
> to turn that around.