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If—

If you can argue that knuckleheads are rational
And that assholes serve the public good,
But then turn around and tell us we need you
To nudge us as you know we should;
If you can be proud of your “repugnant ideas”
And style yourself a rogue without taboo,
If you assume everyone is fundamentally alike
But circulate among the favored few;

If you can do math—and not make math your master;
If you can analyze—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Cost and Benefit
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on a top-5 journal,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word diurnal;
If you can force your models and assumptions
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with rich people and keep your virtue,
Or walk with NGOs—nor lose the common touch,
If neither data nor experience can hurt your theories,
If all measurements count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of consulting,
Yours is Academia and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be an Economist, my son!

With apologies to you-know-who.

P.S. #NotAllEconomists

10 Comments

  1. Jonathan (another one) says:

    Fabulous.

    You’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din.

  2. Mikhail Shubin says:

    After invading Greece and receiving the submission of other key city-states, Philip II of Macedon sent a message to Sparta: “If I invade Laconia you will be destroyed, never to rise again.” The Spartan ephors replied with a single word: “p<0.05"

  3. Horace Juvenal says:

    Hail NAIRU
    The Invisible Hand
    Fitting the Philips Curve to the data
    Blessed art thou amongst free parameters
    And blessed is the fruit of thy behavioral DSGE models
    Holy Fed, funder of grants
    Pray for no Taylor rules
    Now, and at the hour fiat yields to crypto

  4. Chebyshev says:

    Suppose we take away exchangeability. How different will statistics be from economics?

  5. Dzhaughn says:

    You’ve been cancelled for apologizing to you-know-who.

    But I’m not afraid to name names: Roger Whittaker.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AY-2einPmd4

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