Saturday, July 19, 2014

The medical fraternity–ignorant bleating

Yet another call for income and GST tax concessions on fruit and vegetables and increases on “sugary foods”from a medic (with superb medical qualifications)  demonstrates yet again substantial ignorance of:

  • substitution effects
  • elasticity
  • cross elasticity amongst products
  • supply and demand effects
  • subsidy capitalisation
  • net present values
  • income transfer effects
  • capture and rent seeking effects
  • prospect and endowment theory
  • anchoring and confirmation bias
  • comparative advantage – do try to stick to things you know something about

In short they know as much about the micro economics of human behaviour and it’s wildly dangerous but seductive cousin economic policy making, as I know about medicine and interventionist surgery. Close to nothing.

The difference is I, and most other economists, indeed most other self respecting scientists of any kind,  don’t bleat and advocate gratuitously about matters of which we are profoundly ignorant.

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