Live! Nude! Economists!


James M. Buchanan not pictured

A new essay by James M. Buchanan, called "Why Economists Have No Clothes" [PDF] which asks "Why have economists had so little meaningful to say about the 2008 crises? Where and when did the 'science' get off the track? Can anything be done to restore respectability to Economics as a useful area of inquiry?"

Very readable. For instance:

Economists, and perhaps those are most closely associated in their inquiries with the monetary institutions in being, have almost totally failed in their basic understanding of the constitutional elements that must be present in any viable regime. In particular, these economists are unlikely sources of inspiration for the quantum leaps in attitudes that are needed here. There is no need for some 'beyond science' competence. As in other aspects of modernity, return to classical understandings and their implications could be transformative. It is time that nonmonetary economists return to their elementary textbooks.

Via Tyler Cowen