In order to prevent another Great Recession from happening, the U.S. government has given the green light to secretly begin work on a project that has been codenamed “Nostradamus Equivalence.” Sources, who have talked to me on condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the covert operation and who are working closely on the project, have described it as “giving economists clairvoyant abilities.”
The government has already started recruiting economists who have been trained in heterodox and neoclassical economics to participate in the program. Experts in all fields of economic thought will be represented–from Marxists to Institutionalists to Post Keynesians; there’s even a rumor that a Monetarist will participate in the project. Scientists are working with the economists to find ways of developing this extrasensory perception.
The government is hoping economists will be able to see accurately into the future, so they can prescribe “effective” policy measures. The economists–future economists or futecs as they are being called–would use their new heightened senses to look into the future, then implement economic policies in the present economy based on what they see in the future economy. The next step would be making necessary adjustments to the present economy, then looking into the future economy to see how things have been affected. This process of economic adjustments (ecad) would continue until the economy is perfect.
Skeptics aren’t in short supply though. Many are questioning the use of tax payer money to fund a program where they feel the marginal cost will far exceed the marginal benefit. However, the government has a high level of confidence that “Nostradamus Equivalence” will be a success and is failing to reject any doubts from all naysayers.
So why sink all this money into “Nostradamus Equivalence?” Much of the reasons are a result of current economic conditions. The U.S. wants to be more proactive in avoiding another financial crisis that has devastated the economy. Of course, part of that would actually involve regulating any market where the futecs foresee a huge bubble as well as eliminating any bailouts to firms the futecs determine will harm the future economy. Oh, and job creation would be a good thing, too.
How would the great thinkers of economic thought–Smith, Riccardo, Keynes, Marx, Veblen, Marshall–react to the idea of this program? My guess is they would think it’s groovy.
Whether “Nostradamus Equivalence” succeeds or flops is anyone’s guess. Should the program end with success, it would be a huge breakthrough because it will be the first time ever in the history of mankind that an economist has made a better forecast than a weatherman.