Erik Loomis has a post trashing economics, which he says is basically pure ideology. (The post has attracted more than 200 comments, none of which I've read. I read the LGM blog only sporadically. In fact I often end up regretting having gone there at all.)
My two cents on this: Loomis is exaggerating. He's right that economics is not a value-free science, that data is/are not a freestanding avatar of The Truth. He's right that "free-market fundamentalism" is harmful. And I agree with him that "we have to find ways to improve the quality of lives of workers in the U.S. and overseas at the same time" (hard to disagree with that). But to dismiss the entire field of economics as simply capitalist apologetics goes a bit too far.
My father was an economist (in the world outside the academy), and I grew up around economists. I saw that Western economists in a developing country were people genuinely trying to help, even if in hindsight some of what they were doing might have been misguided. Intentions don't excuse everything, but in this context they aren't irrelevant either. Also, economists helped design the New Deal, no doubt a favorite era of Loomis's. Hasn't he ever heard of Keynes and Keynes's American students and followers?
I took the intro-to-econ course in college and I've never regretted having done that. I was reading Marx at the same time and it made for an interesting juxtaposition. I'm not sure the intro-to-econ course taught me much I couldn't have picked up in some other way or that it was essential to reading articles on international political economy, which I had to do then and later, but I don't think it hurt. It's fine to be skeptical of mainstream economics and keep a critical distance, but Loomis here, as I say, goes a bit too far. YMMV.