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Aug 14, 2009

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Jesse Blocher

One of my favorite metaphors for explaining the economy to non-economists is that the economy is like the ocean. What economists try to do is predict how it will behave if we do X or Y, try to warn of particularly ugly consequences, etc.
Unfortunately, I fear the economists who believe that we can control the economy (the expertocracy) may be the majority, though, not some small group. I personally am more in the Hayekian camp who sees an emergent bottom up order to the economy and as such I focus on mechanisms, incentives, and institutions which shape behaviors.
To me, seeing economics and the functioning of markets as yet another highly complex adaptive system of human creation but not of human design is yet another source of wonder in God's creation, and what we as men and women are able to create (amazingly complex for both good and ill) is a mark of us as image-bearers.

Michael W. Kruse

"I personally am more in the Hayekian camp ..."

I lean that direction myself. Reading "Road to Serfdom" for an Urban Economics class 20 years ago is what launched me into the whole question of faith and economics.

I also share your fear about most economists leaning in the direction of wanting an expertocracy. The primary difference between many economists and theologians is on who should run the expertocracy. Economists based on their Modernist notions of dominating realities through scientific management or theologians based on ethics of the face-to-face communities of the Bible without reflection on mass coordination of behavior?

Love your ocean analogy.

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