Swans on Tea posts a parody Pesudoscientific Method followed by cranks worldwide. One item:
Accuse anyone asking for empirical evidence of being ‘close minded’; try to protect your ideas from this sort of pessimism.
I hate to be pessimistic, but I can’t help what I notice. I’ve listened to economists on everything from NPR to CNN to Fox News to Keith Olbermann. The hosts like to ask a fairly obvious question of the economists they interview: how will we know if the stimulus worked or not?
And they never get a quantitative answer. Never.
Now I don’t pretend to be an expert economist. But there are a lot of expert economists out there, some of whom are right at this very moment deciding on the disposition of trillions of my tax dollars. (Well, your tax dollars anyway. I’m poor, I don’t pay much tax.) I’m a little concerned that none of them are willing to say anything like “If our current plan is accepted by congress and the president, unemployment at year’s end will be between 6 and 8 percent, with GDP having contracted by 5%.”
It’s not quite what we’re hearing.
“We’re not making it up,” Bernanke told the House Financial Services panel.
“We’re working along a program that has been applied in various contexts,” he said. “We’re not completely in the dark.”
Maybe we’re just spoiled in the physical sciences, but I don’t think you’ll read anything like that in Physical Review Letters.