Wednesday, January 19, 2011

4130 US Government Economists Got It Wrong

The book The Economist's Oath: On the Need for and Content of Professional Economic Ethics, by George F. DeMartino.  contains an intriguing chart on page 24 about where economists (as defined by title, not Ph.d.) work in the federal government, not counting the Federal Reserve System.
1. Department of Labor, 1262 economists, 30.5 percent of the total, 1208 of those are at the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
2. Agriculture, 533 economists
3. Treasury, 473
4. Commerce, 462
5. Defense, 225
6. Energy, 168
7. EPA, 163 (is that enough?)
8. HHS, 137
9. Transportation, 88
10. Interior, 86
11. FTC, 74
12. HUD, 62
13. Justice, 61
14. FDIC, 61 (do bank examiners produce the real value there?)
15. All others, 275.  The total is 4130 economists in the Federal government, as of 2008, and I believe those numbers are not counting consultants.
So basically 4130, whose salaries probably cost north of $ 300 Million annually, couldn't see the housing bubble and the economic collapse it sparked coming? Not a very good return on investment.
Especially when you have people like Peter Schiff going on CNBC and explaining exactly how and why it will happen.
What a shame.
Here's a collage of Peter Schiff predicting the collapse:

I really admire the logical, coherent and CLEAR nature of Schiff's arguments. This isn't a case of someone calling a top or bottom in a market and catching a lucky break, as many do. It's a macroeconomic call based on sound analysis.

If only the US government had more Peter Schiffs...

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