In his meeting with the Republican caucus in Baltimore President Obama repeatedly invoked the opinions of economists, and at one point, specifically referred to “credible economists,” and later referred to a “consensus among people who know the economy best.” Shouldn’t we be asking who he is talking about?
This is obviously a very important question. But if it is an important question for the President, it is an equally important question for the media and the public. A very strong case can be made that the Great Recession resulted from a blind faith in an economic theory that was simply wrong. It is no longer possible to treat economic theory as an arcane academic matter of no interest to practical people. If it was a bad theory that got us into trouble, maybe we need another theory. Of course the Republican opposition is clinging to their old faith like grim death. At stake is the very essence of their political philosophy. But the media show no understanding of what is at issue.