Physics Envy

Posted On Mar 22, 2022 By Addison Wiggin

Ever since Nixon uttered the words, “we’re all Keynesians now” upon signing the act that closed the “gold window” in 1971, Fed policymakers have been just that: economists of the Keynesian persuasion. Their first question is what “the government should do in order to make the economy better, in order to fix unemployment, in order to prevent inflation from being too bad.” (And now, what should the central bank do to avert climate change?!) The Austrians, however, “look at individuals as the decision-making units, an approach based on reality as it is.” They see “economics as the product of human action,” not an outcome of political theory. Those different approaches are why the Fed’s policymakers are so obsessed with statistics. They’re looking for “scientific relationships that will hold across space and time for how these numbers will work with each other.” Dr. Saifedean Ammous calls it “physics envy”…

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