Theories are easy; facts are hard

Georgists say that we understand the cause of the global financial crisis, and we saw it coming.  So if we’re so smart, why ain’t we rich? Well, some of us are, but for most of us it’s a matter of data and calibration. If we had detailed data on land prices and land rents, and a few other robust variables, properly and consistently defined, for a couple hundred years, we might make some real and pretty quick money from the theory that we do understand quite well.Or maybe not.

The above is suggested by a somewhat related post at Falkenblog.

Most people think facts are easy, and theory is hard, but actually I think it is the reverse. Theory, once you understand it, is trivial, yet important facts are very elusive, often at the bottom of most major disagreements.

And, from one of the comments:

Economics is not Physics. Economists do not collect data then develop theories like physicists. Economics is closer to Ethics in form and methodology…

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