Let them go

“As an undergrad at Harvard, I had the privilege of learning economics from the Big Names. The mainstream textbook writers. The World Bank presidents. The White House advisors.

And then Lehman fell.”

…To my great shame, I could not explain what had happened to my friends and family back home. Because my teachers could not. They did not include money or banking in their models. They didn’t see the crash coming. What insights could they have offered?

In a sentence, I realized I had been brainwashed.

Every experience in the financial reform world, every experience in law school, and every professional experience since, has only proved to me, more and more, that the Big Names do not know — or refuse to acknowledge — what’s actually going down. They were wrong about the global financial crisis. They were wrong about austerity. They were wrong about the EU. The list goes on and on and on.

Today, I work to help low-income communities directly fight banks, debt collectors, and other financial villains. I also collaborate with a wide range of heterodox scholars and activists.

In any case, I promise you what they’re saying is far closer to on-the-ground reality than anything I’ve ever learned from the Big Names, with rare exceptions. I know it’s scary to dismiss what the Big Names say. They have power and prestige.

But they are not scientists. They are not doctors. They are not objectively the best at what they do. Most of them are representatives of a failed elite consensus. They are afraid to admit their lens for looking at the world is fundamentally warped.

The Big Names simply could not and cannot explain the old world. They should not lead us into the future. Let them go.