There is a common adage that “book learning” is not the same as “street smarts.” In the case of economics PhDs like Janet Yellen, we could adapt this to say that “theory” is not the same as “reality.”
Janet Yellen is a career academic. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Career academics play a critical role in terms of both research and teaching future generations of leaders.
However, unlike most career academics, Janet Yellen is in charge of the US economy. In this light, one has to ask aloud, “why would you put someone with absolutely zero experience in creating jobs, growing a business, lending money, hiring, firing, etc. in charge of the US economy.”
Has Yellen ever had to personally decide whether or not to expand a business? Has Yellen ever had to develop a marketing campaign to increase sales? Has she ever had to concern herself with employment benefits for her staff?
Let’s take the other component of the Fed’s work, the financial markets, into consideration. Has Yellen ever managed a portfolio of any significant size? Has she ever guided a trading team? Has she ever even run a bank? Has she ever had to unwind a bankrupt institution?
The answer to all of these is no. And yet, we’re supposed to entrust her to guide the economy. This would be like asking someone who has never even run a 5K but has read a lot of books on running to win the New York marathon.