Sinners and Saints

Patricia Cohen's NY Times article about "outcast" economists has gotten some play in the blogosphere recently. Note the use of religious imagery in the article:

  • "'What I’ve learned is anyone who says anything even obliquely that sounds hostile to free trade is treated as an apostate,' Mr. Blinder said."
  • "And free trade is not the only sacred subject, Mr. Blinder and other like-minded economists say."
  • "...at the University of Chicago — the temple of free-market economics..."
  • "He added, 'I personally have a lot of faith in the discipline.'"
  • "Dani Rodrik, an economist at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, for instance, said, 'I fall into the methods of the mainstream, but not the faith'..."
  • "So while Mr. Blinder, Mr. Card and Mr. Rodrik might be considered mere heretics, this second group has earned the label 'heterodox.'"

The implication is obvious: Economists who use support free market policies base their views on faith rather than evidence.

Edit: Constant comments.

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