Economics as a profession is in a sad state today, says Frank Hollenbeck. Is this description only limited to the US? Or does it also describe the situation of the profession all over the world as a whole? Hollenbeck raised several issues that show the unfortunate state of the porefession. Sample issues that he raised include the way special interest groups advance their advocacy, increase in monetary supply, and the impact of government spending.
In the past, economists were able to see the fallacy in using nationalist rhetoric to advance the advocacies of special interest groups. In our day, they are considered normal, and few voices that oppose them are regarded as either paranoid or mentally deranged. In the past, economists were able to dissect and expose the misconceptions of the mercantilists concerning the increase in monetary supply. Today, similar misconceptions are proudly supported by leading and reputable economists. In the past, economists knew that massive government spending was detrimental to the purchasing power of consumers. Today, it is hailed as the only way to boost economic growth. The primary difference between the economists of the past and contemporary economists is that the former are able to see both the direct and indirect effects of economic policies, whereas the latter are short-sighted, more concerned with immediate results, and have totally lost the ability to foresee the long-term impact of existing policies.
Hollenbeck ends his article by mentioning that no man can violate the law of gravity without putting his life in danger such as jumping off a building and expecting himself to remain unharmed. Likewise, no government can continually violate the law of economics without suffering destructive results in which the most vulnerable members of society are the ones sacrificed.
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