Excellent piece. I think you’re exactly right. The War on Numbers often becomes a War on Education. What tends to happen is that the “experts” sense the signal that only numbers and credentials matter and don’t feel the need to provide any analysis or evidence beyond declaratory statements (e.g., “X is bad for the economy”).
For example during the 2016 Democratic Primary, 4 former CEA Chairs wrote an open letter criticizing Bernie Sanders’ economic policies and a macroeconomic analysis done by an economist supporting his policies without any real refutation. While I do agree with the former CEA Chairs opinion that Bernie’s economics were bad, their reasoning wouldn’t pass an undergraduate macroeconomics seminar.
The bottomline is that the experts start employing lazy thinking when the media only cites the number of experts without explaining the evidence.