Friday, July 3, 2009

AB economic council without economists

The Alberta Premier's Council for Economic Strategy has been announced. Twelve members, of whom one is an economist. Presumably the idea is that anyone is an expert in economics. Either that, or economists have not much to add.

No academics from Alberta. Two Oxford professors, one an expert in the ethics of post-conflict reconstruction, and another an immunologist. They are so smart at Oxford, that even their immunologists are experts in economics. I guess our immunologists and ethicists here in Alberta aren't so good in economics. I find this surprising, because most economists I know here have a pretty deep understanding of immunology, ethics, and all other subjects. In fact, I am prepared to advise the UK government on directions for cell biology research anytime. Or even the ethics of cell biology research, but that would cost a little more.

I wonder, if we can't trust local university academics to advise the government, how can we possibly rely on Albertans to lead the government? This, to me, raises the novel idea of requiring that our provincial politicians must be resident abroad -- sort of like Michael Ignatieff -- in order to qualify for a responsible position in Alberta.

The message I hear from our government is this: "If you're so smart, why are you at a university in Alberta?"


Stephen Gordon said...

In case you missed it, Paul Wells at Maclean's has picked up on this.

Jaron aka Bananatree said...

Quite a zinger, too bad the subject matter is actually rather frustrating.

Josh said...

I would have thought that the two guys with PhDs in economics would be considered economists, but I only have a history degree/

Dazzer said...

Really, no reason to care, just chill. Unless the findings of this committee (with no research budget and meeting just twice a year)comes up with something that jibes with a fairly narrow PC vision of Alberta, the ideas they present will not stick anyway. So whatever they say may be interesting, but can be filed under "itwouldbeniceifwecouldstretchourselvestothinkthisway". Which doesn't have a good track record so far.