Paul Krugman heeft een eredoctoraat gekregen van de Universiteit van Lissabon. In zijn speech bespreekt hij het tekortschieten van het vak economie bij het voorkomen en het adequaat reageren op de huidige economische crisis. Zie de link onderaan dit bericht. Ik citeer deze passage aan het eind (geen tijd voor een vertaling):
Should we be surprised, then, that economic policy makers, after responding fairly effectively to the banking crisis, proceeded to lose the thread?
What happened, in fact, was that to a large extent policy makers ended up going for economic doctrines that made them feel comfortable, that corresponded to the prejudices of men not versed in economics. Thus, it’s normal to think of the economy as a whole as being like a family, which must tighten its belt in hard times; it’s also completely wrong. But lacking any clear message from the economists about how and why this is wrong, it became the common standard of discussion in America, where both Republicans and, alas, President Obama became very fond of the statement that the government should tighten its belt because families were tightening theirs.
It’s also normal to think of economics as a morality play, a tale of sin and redemption, in which countries must suffer for their past excesses. Again, this normal reaction is wrong, or at least mostly wrong – mass unemployment does nothing to help pay off debt. But absent clear guidance from the people who are supposed to explain that economics is not, in fact, a morality play, moralizing became the core of economic policy thinking in Germany, and hence played a huge role in European policy more generally.
Finally, government officials who hang out with businessmen – and almost all of them do – naturally tend to be attracted to views that put business confidence at the heart of the economic problem. Sure enough, belief that one should slash spending even in a depressed economy, and that this would actually promote growth because it would have positive effects on confidence, spread like wildfire in 2010. There were some economic studies used to justify the doctrine of expansionary austerity – studies that quickly collapsed under scrutiny. But really, the studies became popular because they suited the prejudices of politicians, prejudices that would have been totally familiar to Herbert Hoover or Heinrich Brüning.
And so our response to the crisis has been utterly inadequate.Welke Nederlandse universiteit is de eerste die Paul Krugman een eredoctoraat uitreikt?
Economics in the Crisis - NYTimes.com:
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