The economics mainstream and the Austrian heterodoxy often fiercely dispute the 'scientific' status of the views of the other camp. The Austrians accuse the mainstream of being wedded to unrealistic models that bear little, if any, relation to economic reality.
The mainstream, on the other hand, labels the Austrians (and other heterodox flavors) as being insufficiently rigorous, failing to cast their theories in a formal model that clearly explicates the predictions of a theory and that leaves its implications ambiguous.
But, for the moment, let's set that dispute aside. Whatever the merits of either team, I have not infrequently been struck by how feeble is the grasp of some tenured economists on any sensible theory at all. I once took a course -- at a university I will leave unnamed in the interest of not humiliating a pleasant man -- where the money and banking professor explained the persistence of inflation, in response to a student query, by offering an analogy to home appliances. "Think," he said, "of how, over time, your refrigerator wears out and becomes less and less valuable. Well, the same thing happens with money."
I really couldn't believe my ears. How could someone have earned a PhD in economic and yet put forward such a ridiculous explanation?