Tuesday 5 April 2022

Wellington hates economists?

Auckland University's Robert MacCulloch says that Wellington hates economists. I worry he's an optimist.

Robert's starkest example is the absence of monetary policy expertise on the Monetary Policy Committee. It was viewed as a conflict of interest. 

It points to how things are perhaps even worse.

There are more than a few people employed in the public sector with the job title "economist" who have very poor training and whose main job is putting sciency-sounding words around things they think the Minister wants to do anyway. 

Real monetary policy experts would be a challenge on the Monetary Policy Committee.

Real economists elsewhere in the Ministries would also be a challenge. 

Basically, if you learn to say "Market failure justifies what my Minister wants" or "Amartya Sen shows that the Minister is right; he is nuanced, unlike those market fundamentalists who oppose the wishes of our enlightened Minister", or "We need to listen to more non-neoclassical non-neoliberal thinkers like Raworth and Mazzucato", you'll go far in economics roles in too much of the NZ public service. 

The Taxpayers Union has a chat with MacCulloch

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