I have often heard it said that ideas have consequences. These days, that is true even when the ideas are wrong, as was the case when two Harvard economists published research recommending austerity measures as a way to promote economic growth. You may have heard that a graduate student from MIT found basic errors in their data which invalidate their claim. Their ideas have been used as justification for cutbacks and other austerity measures around the world.
I've been trying to think of a way to write about this that isn't too wonky. However, thanks to Stephen Colbert, that effort is no longer necessary. All you have to do is click here and here.