Well, would you say it's better than just a BA in Econ, or do you think it will just make my resume look really bad because I got my PhD from an unknown online school?
I figure it can only be beneficial. I won't lose any time because I will be working full-time while going to this school, so isn't it a win-win situation?
You make it sound like a BA and a PhD do the same work. They don't. I'm no economist, but I've been around the block enough times to know that your BA would qualify you as an analyst while a PhD should, theoretically, qualify you as an expert. Most likely a consultant, senior policy analyst/maker, or college professor. However, with your cyber sheepskin you might sneak into a government position or a community college, but you wouldn't get to play with the other PhD's.
If you want the doctorate, then bite the bullet and go to school for five years - the last two are teaching/research anyway. Maybe work 1-3 years until you go, but don't go to a program you'll regret.
This is all I'm going to say on the topic because this is a law school discussion area, but I wish you the best of luck.