EconoTroll Entry: Dilettante Philosopher (or the "Uninitiated Peasant"*)

Shamelessly drafting on the blog post that got Noah Smith into the big leagues of the EconoBlogosphere, and responding to his question in response to my recent comment on his blog, I propose an entry in the Illustrated Bestiary of EconoTrolls that would include myself.


Dilettante Philosopher (or the "Uninitiated Peasant"*)

"A naive person might expect that any intelligent person would leave an economics PhD program after the 1st year, as, obviously, the education offered is phlogistonism. Yet, clearly, this doesn't happen." (here)

"That’s a lot of words. The obvious question: can you give an example of some part of positive economics that would be useful in the way you suggest? Every area I am familiar with (limited as I am as a layman) positive economics isn’t just incapable of normative claims, it also is just wrong as a matter of empirical reality. If we used positive Econ on the minimum wage we would get it wrong. On the impacts of tax cuts: wrong. On the stability of “complete” markets: wrong, on the “costs” of regulating industry: wrong." (here)

How they see themselves:

How the world sees them:

Favorite blog: Understanding Society** 

Favorite dead economist: Adam Smith.

Will appear in response to posts about: Monetary Policy, Fiscal Policy, History, Science.

Craziest idea: that economists are aware their field is intellectually bankrupt but continue in the same manner because otherwise they would be out of a job.

Special attack: sardonic logic.

Secret weakness: uses economics vocabulary of the experts without understanding all the words and sounds stupid when trying to sound smart.

Notes: prone to hyperbole about the ability of academic economists to kill poor people.


*Maybe there is in human nature a deep-seated perverse pleasure in adopting and defending a wholly counterintuitive doctrine that leaves the uninitiated peasant wondering what planet he or she is on.— Robert Solow

**Because Daniel Hausman does not blog.