Caroline Baum: The index of index creation is off the charts

In today’s economy, even high-skilled workers are starting to worry about a future in which their functions can be performed by robots or some form of artificial intelligence.

Economists, on the other hand, seem intent on hastening their demise. Not consciously, of course. But the fixation with indexes is one way to minimize the role of discretion in economic forecasting — and make themselves superfluous!

After all, if an index can predict the future, who needs humans to superimpose their personal bias?

The recent index-for-everything craze stands in contrast to earlier eras, when economists were searching for tools to predict and monitor the economy’s ups and downs, better known as the business cycle.

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