We economists did not see the 2008 global financial crisis coming.
Nor did we anticipate, predict or, at least, warn people about the current wave of anti-trade, anti-immigration, and populism!?
To be fair, some economists were sounding alarms in the lead-up to the financial crisis. And even with the current backlash, although we may have missed the chance to predict it, many had warned that we were understating the impacts of global trade and that distributional tensions - the result of an unequal impact of globalization, technological change, and aging on certain groups - were mounting.
It seems very important – especially when considering the ongoing fierce rhetoric with which some policy proposals and decisions are described – to remain cool-headed, carefully analyze data, stay engaged and support reforms that are backed by solid evidence.