Recently an English journalist was puzzled as to why a leading politician (“someone of his intelligence and understanding of economics…”) had got something wrong.
The writer was making the same mistake as so many others do. Memorising every line of your Economics 101 textbook is not “understanding economics”.
How many politicians have ever had a real job? How many have had to meet a payroll, earn a profit, satisfy a customer, struggle with regulation, or tell decent, hard-working people face-to-face that they must be made redundant? How many of them have actually had to live with the consequences of their own actions?
It is both hilarious and scary that most of the politicians, academics and media hacks who lecture and hector us about how governments must use taxpayers money to stimulate the economy have never manufactured a bloody thing in their lives. These people couldn’t screw in a light bulb, much less produce something of value: yet they’d direct us in how to do both.
Very few politicians in the western world over the last few decades have had the slightest grasp of “economics”. They did, however, have a good understanding of how to stay popular by making promises that could never be kept. That remains their primary talent.
adapted from Gary Williams via here