Reply to post: Re: I would like to add...

R&D money for science – from your taxes?

Michael Wojcik Silver badge

Re: I would like to add...

I have to say, what have economists ever given us? What cultural, social and technological value have they added?

The same thing any intellectual discipline gives us: various tools for producing meaning. And since, for all of human history and, to all evidence, before it as well, that has been treated as a good-in-itself, no further judgement is really required.

Beyond that, for specific contributions to modern civilization, you'd have to make arguments from the history of ideas, because economics is rarely instrumental the way the physical sciences are. But the same is true of the arts, religion and other ideologies, philosophy, etc; and anyone who claims those haven't contributed to culture doesn't understand what it is to be human.

I'd be willing to argue that modern civilization couldn't exist without some contributions of economics, because I think some economic theory did influence shifts in economic practice (the European move from feudalism through mercantilism to capitalism, for example), and because simply considering questions of resource allocation in a rigorous fashion is a prerequisite for developing some complex sociopolitical forms.

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