Let\’s play spot the economist, shall we?

Letter in The Guardian today. The unedited version started off:

As economists we are opposed to the public sector pension reforms proposed by this government and Lord Hutton.

The signatories:

Richard Murphy, Tax Research LLP

(No, not an economist). A retired accountant from Wandsworth in fact.

Andrew Fisher, LEAP

Secretary: Pete Firmin and Andrew Fisher (job share). Appears to be a socialist and Labour Party activist. No mention of his background as an economist. Has been known to praise Richard Seymour articles…..\’nuff said.

Howard Reed, Landman Economics

Yes, an economist, even if an odd one.

Howard Reed is director of the economic research consultancy Landman Economics. His recent projects include projects for the TUC, ippr, Demos and Compass on a wide range of issues including reform of the tax and benefit system, labour market flexibility, and business finance

Dr Stephanie Blankenburg, SOAS

Yes, an economist in so far as SOAS actually employ any of those.

Professor Prem Sikka, University of Essex

No, not an economist. Prem Sikka is Professor of Accounting at the University of Essex

John Christensen, Tax Justice Network

Claims to be an economist but is, umm, somewhat heterodox. Last seen on this blog claiming that tax incidence was only a useful argument in a closed economy. When of course it is in an open economy that it is important.

Professor Gregor Gall, University of Hertfordshire

Not an eonomist. A Professor of Industrial Relations (in short, cheerleader for unions). \”write regularly for the Morning Star\”….\’nuff said.

Colin Hines, Green New Deal Group

He is an advisor to the Green Member of European Parliament Dr Caroline Lucas, author of the book Localization- A Global Manifesto (Earthscan) and an Associate of the International Forum on Globalisation, a San Francisco based alliance of activists, academics and economists committed to challenging the adverse effects of globalisation and free trade and in the process to develop alternatives.

Before that he was the Co-ordinator of Greenpeace International\’s Economics Unit having worked for the organisation for 10 years.

The man responsible for Greenpeace\’s dreadful misunderstanding of every economic idea ever.

Bryn Davies, Union Pension Services

An actuary. Economics would be much too racy for him.

Fortunately, The Guardian cut that first line. Fortunately, for it would of course be a gross libel on all economists everywhere to call this lot \”economists\”.

11 thoughts on “Let\’s play spot the economist, shall we?”

  1. Marxists, Socialists, Communists and Watermelons (Green on the outside, Red on the inside).

    As mentioned previously, ad nauseum, ad infinitum – Ritchie, GO FUCK YOURSELF!

  2. Interestingly, a quick check on the actuarial register reveals only one Bryn Davies, a student actuary who hasn’t passed all the exams yet.

    So not an economist, but also not an actuary in my book…

  3. Unreservedly apologies to Bryn – just followed Tim’s link and there is no questioning that he IS a qualified experienced actuary. Entirely my fault for being too quick to post. Sorry for any potential offence.

    I do disagree with his views though…

  4. You can show that they are not economists without all this labour, Tim; just show that they successfully predicted the Global Financial Crisis.

  5. There is something very disturbing and unhealthy about you guys. Why are you all so obsessed with Murphy?

  6. I’ve been looking at this blog post, and the first phrase that springs to mind is ‘ad hominem’

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