Economics Nobel winner Jean Tirole put it succinctly as follows:
#JeanTirole “on utilise les mathématiques non pas parce qu’on est intelligents mais parce qu’on n’est pas intelligents” (citaprof #harvard)
— TSE (@TSEinfo) November 17, 2016
In a mostly auto-generated translation via Twitter’s web interface, this says “[we] use mathematics not because we’re smart but because we’re not smart”.
I agree wholeheartedly. Using mathematics in our work in economics (and in so many other areas of research) allows us to stand on the shoulders of giants and use their smarts. It’s on us to make good use of this powerful tool, honed over the centuries by so many brilliant people. Criticisms of using mathematics in economics are pointless; criticisms of using mathematics badly in economics are valuable.