First, the basic paradigm through which the economics profession sees itself and presents itself to society needs to change. “Rather than teaching economics 101 as an indoctrination in method, they should teach it as a course in philosophy of science where the subject is economics and its assumptions, and the tradeoffs and the flaws as well as the strengths are explored on behalf of the student,” Johnson says.
Second, economics must lose its fascination with deduction and reincorporate context into the profession. “Understanding the context of institutions, understanding economic history, and particularly the history of economic thought (where the subject is economic thinking embedded in the real context of the problems and vested interests of the day, the various challenges, the state of technology), would help people to develop a more humble and realistic of what economic thinking is all about,” Johnson says.
These changes will make it much more difficult for economists to forget that economics really is about “politics, politics, and politics,” Johnson says. “At the core, economics is about politics and about power, and the question for the economists is whose power are you going to serve as an expert.”Read it at INET Blog
What are economists for, anyway?
By The Institute for New Economic Thinking
Although in many ways I adhere to the operational aspects of Post-Keynesian/MMT/MMR economics, this Fall I will begin attending the doctoral economics program at George Mason University. A primary reason behind my decision is a view similar to that of Robert Johnson regarding the importance of institutional analysis, a background in economic history and consideration of how politics and power affects economic decisions. While some readers may view GMU as serving the wrong powers, I believe the professors are very open to questioning the assumptions underlying various economics positions and I intend, at times, to challenge their views. Hopefully my experience over the next few years adheres to these suggested changes and I look forward to one day incorporating them in my own classes.