—-”Who is your favorite economist and why?”—-
You know, I have spent the better part of 25 years trying to understand what is wrong with Economics, and I think I have done so.
And from that understanding, I would say certainly the most IMPORTANT economist was Hayek, principally because he understood the central problem of economics is providing information necessary for indirect cooperation, AND because he understood that all economics is a byproduct of the natural law of torts (property). Which is why later in life, he (as I have), devoted himself to improving understanding of the law (natural law of tort) as the institution by which we solve cooperation(contract) and information(truth) problems, since what we call economics is just the consequence of the law and a very simple technology we call money, that like numbers is so elegant precisely because they are so simple.
Other than Hayek, I respect Friedman for his efforts at attempting to produce collective commons through market means (vouchers etc). The economists I respect today are very few and far between, because there are NONE that I know of that measure changes in ALL capital rather than cherry picking, and in particular cherry picking consumption.
I’m probably a fairly good scholar of Mises, in understanding his terrible failure. But that he failed just as bridgman and brouwer did and to some degree hayek, because he didn’t understand that he had discovered operationalism in economics, not a ‘science’ – thereby making a fool of himself as an idealogue. I tend to find everything of value in Simmel, although I use most of Mises’ definitions in my work because as an operationalist his are most accurate.
I read pretty much everything that comes out in economics. I follow Tyler Cowen because I have similar interests in social science, and I follow Scott Sumner because he sees things I don’t.
I am curious how long it will take the mainstream to understand that you get what you measure and they’re measuring the wrong thing, and if they measured the right thing it would end the left forever.
It’s not science if you’re cherry picking. And the entire discipline is built on it.