I would first tell the kids that economists really do try to get it right, a real effort is involved. Here is a Post which gives some indication of How well those aspirations are treated by the cruel, cruel world. I have ventured into the mythical land of forecasts often, mostly to the sound of laughter. I think it was Henny Youngman (I know you kids have never heard of him) who said it was better to be paid for the laughter generated when you were trying to be serious, than to be humorous at a funeral. I agree with Calculated Risk that We are a long way from normal, but do so with less expectation that normality will return. The only sustained growth We may expect is in the arena of Population, which I am even suspecting will decrease sharply within a decade. The Age of Affluence has ended, and we are headed back to the Age of Utility. I seriously expect that the next Step may be the revitalization of the decayed City centers, as industry comes to realize that they need those packed, dense neighborhoods to maintain competitive advantage against foreign Imports, which are doomed by their increasing Cost. My one real prediction on which I await the laughter is that inner cities will regain about 30% of their previous Populations within the decade; don’t ask for specific rationale which is hard to raise above vague dreams.
This Post will tell my younger Readers that economists are somewhat freaky people. It stands consistent with a group of individuals who try to build system out of chaos. Anyone who attempts to accumulate precise data to make generalist observations cannot be all there, but they do indeed work hard at it; I would not advise Youth that it is a profession where you have to do little, as the simple level of Reading required goes far beyond simple tired eyes. The one good thing about economics is its relationship to history: no one can call an economist absolutely wrong until at least a century has passed, and society has transformed to a totally different mode of production. The vindication of the economist comes only with examination of the Corpse. It does hold the benefit that you can be proven wrong almost constantly, and yet still command respect from some obscure college or university. This could possibly be utilized, though, from any system of Mentors.
Bankers are a group of people who might find the economic profession more forgiving, and might invade the ranks of economists. Consider this article. The Witch Hunt is on! The Joke of it remains that State supervision of Banking practice may be the only reliable supervision of Banks, as federal regulation has little a priori supervision of Banking activities. There is no federal ombudsman system at the level where these instruments are made and sold, and federal regulators are functionally unreachable unless one possesses massive assets. Federal regulators talk only with Those who they regulate, and regulation is geared to promote the interests of the Regulated. States can break the chain of incestuous movement between Banking and Regulation, a process where Labor flows back and forth between Private and federal employment as the Labor market warrants; especially evil when the movement from regulation to Private employment in the industry is such a Pay boost. States often reflect the rage of its citizens, as the Politicians are not insulated from the Public. lgl