Economics: An Art or a Science?

Last week, I happend to watch a Q&A session with the supply-side economics writer Bruce Bartlett on C-SPAN. He was talking about his book “Bruce R. Bartlett, The New American Economy: The Failure of Reaganomics and a New Way Forward” and also a lot of other things to do with the economy and fielding questions from callers.

One caller asked him whether Economics is an Art or a Science?

Bruce’s answer (paraphrased) was: “Economics is more of an art than a science. When you peel away all the mathemetical and scientific analysis layered on top of economic concepts, what you get is essentially a lot of judgement calls.”

Now this explanation is possibly the most honest and clear explanation on the fundamental nature of economics that I have heard from a knowledgeable person in a long time.

It’s also the reason why people should not believe the pseudo economical evidence supporting financial actions such as bank bailouts, stimulus packages and whatever else politicians come out with. They probably know as much about the result of such actions as you and I.

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