One piece of evidence about why the world is as screwed up as it is is this:
A lack of black economists is leading to an absence of passion is solving housing, education and employment inequalities, a Royal Society chief has said.
Prof Carol Propper said that greater ethnic diversity is needed among economic policy makers to ensure that the views of different communities are advocated.
That is a call for corporatist politics. Where it is the battle between interest groups which determines what policy should be. Corporatist policy making also has another name, fascism. So, no to that, thanks very much.
Prof Propper, president of the Royal Society of Economics, said that the underrepresentation of senior black economists is a problem when it comes to policy making.
“Diversity in economics is important because the key policy issues that the Government needs to address are so-called ‘wicked problems’ which are difficult to solve and require trade-offs,” she told The Daily Telegraph.
“If all policy advisors have exactly the same world view, then these trade-offs don’t get exposed.”
Prof Propper said that in order to address inequalities in health, access to jobs, training, employment and education, public policy must be drawn up by those who are “passionate” about such issues.
Having fewer black economists involved in forming policies means that these issues are “highlighted less” and are “brought to the fore less”, she said.
“The trade-offs need champions and that is why you need diversity of views and of passions,” Prof Propper added.
Explaining what policies do is the job of economists. If you do this then that will happen. We can take that a stage further too, here are the trade offs that have to be made – a higher minimum wage does mean higher wages for those who keep their jobs while reducing the number of people with jobs – and that too is a useful function of an economist.
But which trade offs should be done, where the balance is for a policy? That’s not economics, that’s politics. The economist can tell you if, then, but not should.
This is a call for there to be more black politicians deciding policy, not more black economists describing policy options. And that a Royal Society chief is ignorant of the difference here is a good example of why the world’s as screwed as it is.