Tuesday, November 2, 2010

ECONned: a book review

An excellent book, from the cover I had feared it might be a little too poppy, but was surprisingly dense - as a warning to anyone looking for a more casual, pop-economics kind of read.

Places the blame for the financial crisis and the wide disparity between classes in American society less on specific policies maintained by Reagan republicans and Clinton democrats then on the STUDY of economics itself.

She condemns the neo-classical models that give what is essentially a soft science the airs of a hard science. These models assume perfect information and perfect competition, things which absolutely do not exist in American economic life. Despite their immediate and obvious lack of applicability, these models are used to inform policy decisions at the highest level.

Their veneer of mathematical inscrutability intimidates non "experts" from engaging in discussion, and cows the public into excepting too willingly the policy initiatives of the biased decision makers at the top.

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