Faced with a new situation that could have consequences for the economy - from the crisis to Brexit, from election results to a board of directors at a bank - we, as journalists, often find we need to call up an economist twice. The first time is so they can predict what might happen; the second, so they can analyse what really has happened and explain what went wrong in their forecast.
Perhaps the cause of so many shots off target can be found among myths and beliefs that have settled down as unquestionable truths in economic science, which were born by chance out of logical reasoning but rarely go from theory to reality.
The fathers of economic science, from Smith to present day, established their theories based on a scenario that only exists in theory, the perfect competition market. Economics, however is not mathematical but a social science, that is, where the human factor intervenes with all its complexities.
What's more, economic activity itself generates inequalities that alter the framework so that theory and practice follow paths that sometimes never even meet.
The perfect market of free competition simply does not exist. It has never existed. Behaviour derived from considering that the scenario is real must be permanently checked with another tool resorted to by economists who are less affected by traditionalism, the empirical test.
Well, there is no empirical study that proves that reducing taxes for those who contribute most will activate the economy or have any beneficial effect apart from on the pockets of those directly concerned. The overflow theory, that maintains that when the cup of the most wealthy fills up that wealth starts to spread among the rest of the actors in society, has never managed to work, apart from as an alibi.
Therefore it is certainly hard to explain why the Andalusian government has made the abolition of inheritance tax one of the highlights of its first months in charge, when the measure only benefits families in which each one of the children inherit a million euros or more. Unless this forms part of a campaign to put an end to the image of an Andalucía plagued by the problem of unemployment, low salaries and temporary contracts, to draw a new picture of a region in which the vast majority of its inhabitants were seriously concerned about the taxes they would have to pay when they inherited a fortune. And now, they are all breathing a sigh of relief.