Economics is too important to leave in the hands of experts

Life is sufficiently complex that experts are often needed. They can provide helpful advice and guidance on a number of subjects. But they can also enjoy more power than is safe. By telling others that only they have the knowledge needed to make a good decision, they can keep the public out of the picture. While this may serve the interests of the experts, it can be disastrous for the rest of us. For one thing, even experts, by definition, only have limited knowledge. For another, they have their own biases that affect how they see things. Transport planners who are trained to believe that transport means cars will not give us good infrastructure for walking and cycling. Economists who act in the interests of the very wealthy will not promote measures to reduce inequality or poverty. It helps to remember that economics is not a true science. Whatever mathematical formulas it uses involve hypotheses that are often simply guesses or preconceived notions; many of the technical terms are simply meant to keep the ‘uninitiated’ out of the field – that is, all those who do not simply serve the rich. Economics affects people and our environment too much to allow so-called experts to call all the shots. We cannot afford to be afraid of economics; we cannot afford to remain silent. We can and must speak up about the effect their ideas are having on our lives. We must defend our right to something much better than what current mainstream economic theories are allowing us.