Ylan Mui: I want to kick it off with a question to you Josh. There have been a lot fingers pointed when it comes to blame for the financial crisis--Wall Street greed, predatory lending, et cetera--but rarely has a finger been pointed at the economists themselves. Do you think your profession deserves blame?
Josh Bivens: The one word answer is yes. Jeff’s book is entirely right: most the ideas covered in his book have indeed been put to damaging use in US policy debates. But we should be careful to also say that a lot of the ideas actually contain useful nuggets. They are bad and dangerous ideas when they are improperly invoked—-when the people who invoke them cannot differentiate when one of the ideas should be taken as a description of how the world works versus a prescription for how we should make it work. That is one big way that they can be put to dangerous use. I can say more about that later. But I think, even more importantly, they are really bad and dangerous when they are mobilized by people... It’s tough to say this nicely... By people with either really weak minds or with old and ideological political motivations. READ MOAR