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Gittens on the limits of economics « Previous | |Next »
March 7, 2007

Ross Gittens says that new book, Gittinomics, helps us to master the capitalist system rather than be victim. Making it work for you, not you for it, is good advice. In explaining this in the Sydney Morning Herald he outlines the limits of economics:

Economists are experts in one important but limited aspect of life: the material. No one knows better than they do how best to maximise our production and consumption of goods and services. When a community follows their advice - as we pretty much have been for the past 25 years - it gets rich.

...most economists know little about the question of fairness and, for the most part, ignore it. Press them and they'll tell you frankly that it's outside their area of competence. Likewise, they're largely oblivious to the social and spiritual aspects of life. Will the policies they advocate damage family life, for instance? Sorry, never given it any thought. Why don't you consult a social worker or a priest.... Economists' advice is one-dimensional. When we give that advice primacy and fail to meld it with the advice of experts in other areas, we risk becoming a richer but more socially dysfunctional society.

Of course, you could always reduce society to the market, or say that society should be run as a market.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 4:36 AM |