Economists Prove that Scientists are Smarter

In a recent opinion piece, Paul Krugman moans about "hard scientists who think they are smarter than economists"

But hard scientists are smarter than economists. The economists proved that this is so. Here is the proof in sketch form:

Alfred Nobel created prizes in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature, and Peace. The first prizes were awarded in 1901 and the reputation of the Nobel Prizes was established by awarding it to very smart scientists who so dramatically furthered the important disciplines of Physics, Chemistry and Physiology or Medicine. (Peace and Literature, on the other hand, have not advanced nearly so dramatically.)

Economists had a bad reputation. Their theories would, from time to time, collapse, along with the economies that were founded on them. Heck, if scientists established laws of thermodynamics that were nearly so insufficient as economic theory, then starting your car for the morning commute would be like playing a game of Russian roulette.

Economists needed to do something to improve their image... So, in the 1960's the economists hatched a plot to hitch their reputations to the coattails of science. In 1968 The Sveriges Riksbank (Swedens Central Bank) created the Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel. NOTE, this is not a Nobel Prize. It was created over Alf's dead body! Still, the "Sveriges Riksbank Prize" is routinely reported to be a "Nobel Prize".

So what does this sordid little bit of history tell us:

  1. If you are the type of economist who looks after the interests of Big Banks then you will be well compensated, with money and all the prestige that a Big Bank can buy.
  2. The commercial media also depends upon the big money boys, so they collaborated in this scheme, misrepresenting the "Sveriges Riksbank Prize" as though it were a "Nobel Prize"!!!!
  3. The bulk of the public will come to believe a lie if you tell it to them often enough. (This phenomenon was first documented in Mein Kampf. Fine company...)
Richard Heinberg is very much the gentleman. Unfortunately, the other side plays by more brutal rules. I'm quite happy to engage them on their own terms.