In an essay responding to Dan Klein's "A Plea to Economists Who Favor Liberty," Eastern Economic Journal (Spring 2001), Tullock only has one slight objection to Klein's essay, namely that economists can do well by doing good. The example he used was Henry Hazlitt.
I do think the well-intentioned economists who spend some time attempting to improve economic policy by addressing the common man or even the government official will benefit the world and will not injure his own career. He may actually benefit it. Normally, however, these articles, speeches, and even letters to the editor will not help him much in his career. I regard this as a serious criticism of the economic profession. The only reason for economics is to improve policy, mainly political policy but to a minor extent policy followed by businesses. To take an outstanding example, Henry Hazlitt was for many years the Economic Correspondent for the New York Times. During all this period, the New York Times opposed minimum wages. No doubt, this was an example of his influence. When he retired, it became an advocate of minimum wages. Granted the influence of the New York Times, it seems likely that Hazlitt did more to improve economic policy than any five full professors of economics during this period. Nevertheless, he would not have been regarded as suitable for appointment in any leading university. No doubt he did well financially, and for that matter his popular books sold well. Nevertheless, the economic aristocracy never recognized him.
Tullock continues by arguing that:
The rather low status of teaching, particularly elementary economics teaching, is indicative of the problem. Since, to make an embarrassing confession, I myself am not fond of teaching, I benefit from my high status. At my rank, I have few classes, and in general the students are good and interested. It is quite a different matter for those people teaching gigantic elementary courses. Nevertheless, from the standpoint of influencing future policy, the elementary teacher is more important than I. I hope that my work will trickle down to the elementary teacher and through him to the large number of potential voters, potential Congressman, and potential newspapermen in his class. This is however merely hope. I don't actually do anything to make that more probable. It is true that my writings are, generally speaking, much more accessible to the ordinary person than most economic writings. This may help somewhat.
Nevertheless, the present situation is in my opinion very undesirable. Economics is a policy science and we should be trying to influence policy.