Friday, December 14, 2007

Economists As Moral Relativists

Russell Roberts -- an econ prof at George Mason University with whom I usually agree -- says this about the use of performance-enhancing drugs by baseball players:
When everyone cheats, it's not cheating any more.
First, not "everyone" cheated. Second, cheating is cheating.

One example does not prove that all economists are moral relativists. But, in more than forty years of associating with economists and reading their work, I have observed that most economists focus on efficiency to the exclusion of morality.

How's that for a generalization?