One of the casualties of the credit crisis has been the reputation of economists. As Camille Paglia at Salon.com writes:
Most mainstream American voters are undoubtedly suffering from economist fatigue these days. This one calls for tax cuts; that one condemns them. One says we’re wasting hundreds of billions of dollars; the other claims that sum falls pathetically short.
Many feel let down by the profession’s inability to predict this downturn and to come to some sort of consensus on how to remove us from this economic morass. This dissatisfaction is showing up in the job market for newly minted PhD economists as well. From an article by Justin Lahart at WSJ.com:
Economists are facing a grim job market. Here’s why:
-Top universities have seen their endowments shrink and government funding slashed, leaving less cash for jobs.
-Economics-department budgets are particularly vulnerable to cuts, especially since the professors are costly compared to their counterparts in other departments.
-Private-sector jobs — at investment banks and hedge funds — are drying up, too.
Not only are job prospects bleak, but the profession has become an object of skepticism if not downright ridicule: