METAPHORS FOR TODAY

Bad macroeconomics has conquered via good metaphors, far more than it has by policy competence or explanatory success.

It’s past time we turned the tables.

Here’s a metaphorical parable for our times.

The ancient regime in academic economics and institutional politics has built us a bum car with a bad engine — it races off the track and leave a path of destruction in its wake, then won’t hardly run at all. It then chugs and belches black smoke and barely moves while leaving all sorts of folks on the side of the road with no room for the ride.

And these same economists and “statesmen” who built us a pathetic failure of a car now insist they should be put in charge of fixing the broken machine they once insisted was built without a flaw with the promise of giving us the most fabulous and economical ride money could buy.

And, remarkably, they have been left in charge of fixing the failed and still failing car they originally designed and built. And what have they given us after years wrenching a “repair”? A car which still runs badly, leaves millions on the side of the road — and just incidentally costs the passengers trillions of dollars which are passed on to the friends of the “statesmen”, meanwhile leaving the incompetent economists at the wheel of the car, still driving it down a ditch.

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No doubt this can be re-told or recast in a form better suited to the public and academic conversation. Who can spin out a better version?

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