Economics is not a science. It’s obviously not a physical science, though economists flatter themselves by talking about their own objectivity, mathematical rigor, and predictive value. It’s not a social science either, since economists pay as little attention as possible to real inter-actions among people, preferring to make extrapolations from statistics which are already extrapolations.
Economics is simply the art of rationalizing whatever our rulers want to do to us. Since Reagan was first elected president in 1980, economists have been telling us that lowering taxes will increase revenues, that raising the minimum wage will increase inflation, that globalization is a wonderful thing for everybody everywhere, and that deficit spending is disastrous (except when W went to war, when they prudently fell silent).
These things are exactly what the bankers, investors, and corporate executives who run our economy want to hear, and economists are rewarded for saying them. Economists aren’t really concerned when the facts don’t bear out their theories, because the theories themslves are so beautifully consistent, and because the theories are just a pretty window dressing to conceal what is really going on.
Shakespeare was wrong. The first thing to do is kill all the economists… and then the lawyers.