Monday, September 11, 2006

Snail-paced, Unrealistic, and Useless

Again, may I lay stress on the reality that development, growth, or progress, whatever you call it, is dominated by politics, and politics itself is based on culture. However, all theories about development are part of social science, henceforth none of them proves to be the only theory suited to the whole world. Even when most of us are convinced that culture, or the presentation of a people’s psychology, holds sway over the people’s progress, how can we explain the difference between the two Koreas?

After all, though, I’ve always been of the opinion that the key to growth lies in the hands of politicians, never economists.  One may argue that when leaders, particularly governments, adopt protectionism, impose a strict tax system, tighten the exchange rates, so on,  meaning they take apparently economic-based decisions, they affect and dominate the nation’s growth with such activities. However, I believe that even what we call “economic policies” is in fact “politic” ones, because which policy is chosen and how it is adopted is merely dominated by the highest-rank heads, which in their turn are affected mostly by their political ideology.

History has seen economists who contributed much to economic growth. Post-war Europe may never forget Keynes, Atlee, Bervin, and a lot more economists who helped recover the continent from the ashes of war. But those we refer to as “economists”, like Atlee, or Bervin, started their career as “politicians”, or “businessmen” first. They would be called “economists” later, when they, as politicians, have done a lot in making the nation prosperous. Almost no one, as a “pure” economist, can contribute something worth mentioning to development. John Maynard Keynes was a prominently successful businessman long before he was known in the west as an outstanding economist. And I feel sure that Keynes, with his business background, would have never tried to act as an economist. He must not have used complex structures in daily conversation, he must not have presented his complex thoughts with much more complex terms. Above all, he was a very rich man with a practical mind. He was not an useless and unrealistic snail working snail-pacedly in his messy writing-cabinet, turning people confused with so many incomprehensible ideas and concepts.

With all my respect for "would-be economists", and those who graduate from economic schools and regard themselves as part of the national economy, may I speak out aloud these words, "Oh, economists, you're such useless snails!"How I hate myself to be among them. Image