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He points out that the public is uneducated in economic theories. Moreover, people and institutions of influence tend to muddle up these economic laws in order to server their own vested interest. Ultimately, the public is not only uneducated, they are also miseducated in the theories of economics and even refuse to be educated in these areas.
In addition, even economists themselves rarely adhere to the economic theories that they themselves preach as they take into account external factors such as family security, pride, and societal acceptance. As such, economists end up sending messages that the public would be more comfortable to hear. This dilemma is further aggravated by the fact that economic theories have been, and may be, tested out on very limited platforms. Thus, economists usually have their hands tied and their tongues curled in defense of economic theories that may or may not work.
Overall, Stigler illustrates that economists are almost always torn between being an academic who incessantly explains theories to an unaccepting public and an implementor whose proposals are periodically squashed by an unbelieving society. Either way, an economist’s quest for popularity and for influence will, in Stigler’s view, most likely lead him to parallel
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