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I haven't been counting, but there seems to be a strong anti-academic tendency in Canada compared to the US when it comes to these advisory thingies. One solitary academic in this lot and a bunch of CEO's. And when the late coalition set up an advisory board it was all ex-politicians. South of the border it seems like academic economists get more respect and more cushy $1 advisory jobs.

I'm neither an academic nor a CEO, so I have no dog in this fight, but I really don't know what CEO's and ex-politicians bring to the table on what is surely to be mainly macro issues.

A giant fig leaf, perhaps? CEOs and pols can probably be counted on to play along and accumulate favours that can be cashed in at a later date. OTOH, a tenured academic has no reason to not speak her mind. We get paid the same whether the Prime Minister likes us or not.

But it's interesting that you mention the Obama team of advisors - an awesome array of intellectual firepower. And even though we have many fine minds among us, that's a resource that is almost never tapped.

I'm a CEO *and* an economist. Can I charge $2?

Just so long as you don't try going to 98 cents. We'll go to 97 so fast, it'll make your head spin.

Canada is actually a country where academics are not as well regarded as in other places. It goes from the bottom where Canadian companies are hesitant to hire new university graduates to academics rarely playing large roles in public policy. Lawyers and MBAs tend to make up a huge proportion of the politicians, public inquiries get led by former judges, and becoming a successful journalist seems to be the way to make it to (assistant)Head-of-State as Governor-General.

I think a major problem in Canadian academia (and many other countries) is that local academics prefer to study the US situation rather than the local one. This may be because
- the US economy is bigger, so the problem is more important.
- academic work on the US economy is easier to publish because there are more outlets, despite there being more competition.
- good work on the US is more widely read, since more people study it.
- the US situation is more carefully analyzed, so the debate is better developed and usually more nuanced.
- that's what we learned at grad school and we never broke the habit.

Yes, this is obviously another example of multiple equilibria.
Yes, the EU is starting to emerge as a second (minor) equilbrium.

Economists/academics may be unpopular, but it is generous (to say the least) that CEOs and scions are. Desmarais? Irving? I suspect that putrefied road kill would rate higher in public esteem.

I suggest that a competitive wage offer, combined with a promise to deliver additional services (such as shoe shines, or human ottomanry), as well as succesful recruitment of popular Canadians would overcome the economists' appeal deficit.

Mssrs Gordon and Rowe, I recommend you get in contact with The Great One, Stevie Y, Alex Trebek and Howie Mandel, Bret the Hitman Hart, Generalissimo Hillier, the surviving members of Loverboy, Neil Young, Nickleback, Kiefer and Don Sutherland, The Guy Who Played Von Trapp With Julie Andrews, and the Queen of England. Oh, I almost forgot Celine, Renee, and that Muldoon kid from CTV.

Well if you really look at it, Canadian government is basically "Amateur Hour"; the entire cabinet is made up of MPs selected on a basis that puts having knowledge relevant to their ministries as a secondary or tertiary concern.
It's not just academic economics, Canada doesn't seem to have a whole lot going on in the natural sciences or engineering either.

Mssrs Gordon and Rowe, I recommend you get in contact with The Great One, Stevie Y, Alex Trebek and Howie Mandel, Bret the Hitman Hart, Generalissimo Hillier, the surviving members of Loverboy, Neil Young, Nickleback, Kiefer and Don Sutherland, The Guy Who Played Von Trapp With Julie Andrews, and the Queen of England. Oh, I almost forgot Celine, Renee, and that Muldoon kid from CTV.

Maybe we can get Jeff Sachs to introduce us to Angelina Jolie. A picture of her, Brad Pitt and the two of us (out of focus, in the background) on the main page might just do it. We might even be able to raise our rates.

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