Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Policy, Pachyderms, Cogs and Monsters

Reading about economics, which i certainly don't pretend to understand, i'm constantly surprised at the long running influence that it has, as a collection of schools of thought, on policy and government, despite its many troubles. 

This especially so in a world where it is increasingly obvious that simply, and verifiable disciplines like epidemiology and climatology are essential, and yet, still encounter doubt&even outright denial or resistance from those in power (i.e. people making up policy and implementing/applying it).

Why should the invisible hand have more sway than the sadly palpable megadeath or megastorm? How can we afford the former the stature of temples and gods when nearly everyone knows someone who died or was ruined by pandemic or flood or drought, or will do soon?

I'm not proposing abandoning the attempt to understand or even manage economies. I'm just worried that the people who depend on those attempts appear unable to factor in things that are pretty basic, and allegedly quite a bit better understood, and that means that the elephant in the room isn't the relative merits of these theories. It is the doubt one must have about policy makers understandings if they adopt the more complex, less certain, over the more well found. What is going on in the minds of such people? I'm not sure it passes for understanding.