So it is the end of the year and what a stunning year it has been for all sorts of creative story telling inside the economics profession (particularly in its conservative manifestation). I am going to kick this list off with No. 10 and take my readers’ input for the remaining nine.
To my mind the No. 10 has to be the revisionist claim that arguments for free trade are not about jobs but rather some other metric of economic goodness. Empirically when free trade turned out to be a job killer in Canada, especially after the low CDN dollar policy had ended, conservative economists began circulating the missive that free trade was never about jobs but rather X efficiency or some other idea that lacked any empirical test / verification. In idiomatic terms we call this “moving the goal posts to infinity”; in layman’s terms we call this chicken !@#$%^&; in scientific terms we call it proof positive of a degenerating paradigm.
En effet, this has been a banner year for the depths to which conservative economists are willing to plumb in order to rehabilitate that snow plough job which is micro-macro 101. There are many more, I will post one a day until Xmas eve.