American economic policy ranks as something between bad and disgraceful. As leading economist Alan S. Blinder argues, a crucial cultural divide separates economic and political civilizations. Economists and politicians often talk–and act–at cross purposes: politicians typically seek economists’ “advice” only to support preconceived notions, not to learn what economists actually know or believe. Politicians naturally worry about keeping constituents happy and winning elections. Some are devoted to an ideology. Economists sometimes overlook the real human costs of what may seem to be the obviously best policy–to a calculating machine.