FREAKONOMICS - Economist for President

I have recently been thinking about purchasing this book for my reading pleasure. I came across a blog based on the book with a post titled "An Economist for President". In the blog post it discusses how the 2nd economist has been elected as the president of an African nation. My question is, do you think an economist can ever get elected in the United States, and if one did get elected would he/she do a good job?


Tom said...

I think you bring up a very interesting point. All the people making economic decisions really do not have any real solid education in economics. To answer your second question on who should be the "economic president" I think I would nominate Dr. Dave Tufte.

parker said...

I would love to see an economist as the next president. I couldn't agree more with the comment regarding the current situation in which so many people with such a lack of economic understanding are making such gigantic economic decisions for this nation. However, according to Joe Baker such will never be the case. Professor Baker once explained to my class that economists are able to save more money than most people because they do not have to purchase birth control but instead can substitute their personalities to prevent the same outcome. We all know that the politicians aren’t the geniuses of the world but seem to be those individuals with the looks and personalities to sway the masses. Seriously though, I would love to see someone with a long run mindset running this country.

rico said...

I tend to disagree. Economics are more into the truth, whereas politicians tend to b.s. more than anything. It would be difficult for an economist to adapt to that environment. That is why Greenspan isn't the president.

Dr. Tufte said...

Sorry Tom ... I dropped that little bit of megalomaniacal desire when I was 14.

Rico's thinking is most in line with mine. I tend to think that the problem is not the training of the people in charge but that we designed governments and gave them economic powers before we had a clue about how economics worked.

There are two interesting points to make. First off, did you know that economists were a key part in the Republican revolution in Congress during the 80s and 90s? Yep, Dick Armey was #2 in the House and Phil Gramm was #2 in the Senate, and both are former economics professors. Second, economists do tend to be found in disproportionate numbers in things like university and foundation presidencies. This is consistent with Bryce's suggestion.

FWIW: ROFL at Parker's comment about Joe Baker.