Friday, 26 April 2013

A propos of nothing (2)

One of the fishing books I've read recently is Tony Taylor's Fishing The River Of Time (Text Publishing, 2012)It came with good reviews, and its central proposition - a Sydney-based geologist, teaching a grandson to fish in Canada, while gently encouraging the wider perspectives that fishing brings - was a good one. It didn't hit home especially well with me, but give it a go for yourselves and see if you feel differently.

Along the way (p195) I was amused to read that "Recently, we have become preoccupied with wealth" - I'll give him that one, maybe we have - "and have become enamoured with a pseudo-science called economics that seems to be only concerned with the 'growth' of a convenient but impractical thing called money".

Even from someone with a low opinion of economics, that's an  inadequate description. And it reminded me that the giants of the profession have typically had rather more realistic and down to earth ideas of what economics is about. As Keynes said (Essays In Persuasion, 1931), " If economists could manage to get themselves thought of as humble, competent people, on a level with dentists, that would be splendid!"

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