Durante la reciente crisis mudial se escribieron muchísimas notas en donde se hablaba de la economía como la ciencia lúgubre o dismal science. Pensé que era una reacción a la poca capacidad predictiva de la economía previa a este evento, pero todo parece indicar que la historia de este calificativo se remonta a la época de los clásico, según este artículo (HT Javier Aparicio)
It is widely asserted that the Victorian sages attacked classical economics from a humanistic or egalitarian perspective, calling it "the dismal science," and that this attack is relevant to modern discussions of market society. David M. Levy demonstrates here that these assertions are simply false: political economy was characterized as "dismal" because Carlyle, Ruskin, and Dickens were horrified at the idea that systems of slavery were being replaced by systems in which individuals were allowed to choose their own path in life. At a minimum, they argued, "we" white people ought to be directing the lives of "them," people of color. Economists of the time, on the other hand, argued that people of color were to be protected by the rule of law-hence the moniker "the dismal science."