Tuesday 6 December 2016

David McWilliams: Fiscal treaty is Kamikaze economics for most of EU

Published 23/05/2012 | 17:00

Frequently, and with some validity, business people lambast economists for knowing nothing about the real world. They claim that economists dwell in ivory towers and just don't get it. Some economists may well live in ivory towers but those of us who work for ourselves and employ people and try to make a living in the private sector are not as removed as the business people might think. In fact, we are business people. Yet the point is valid, as theoretical models of the economy do sometimes seem removed from reality.

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However, the criticism can work the opposite way. Just because you run a business does not mean you understand how the economy works.

And when business people weigh into public debates about the economy, their pronouncements can vary from the vaguely embarrassing to the downright wrong. We are seeing this in the economics of the fiscal treaty debate.

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