April 14, 2015

The intelligent student's predicament

Comment on ‘Is there anything worth keeping in standard microeconomics?’


The student of economics either understands in his first course of Econ 101 that neoclassical economics is unrealistic, irrelevant, absurd, consumptive of time, senseless, dilettantish, logically defective, methodologically unacceptable, useless, etcetera etcetera, or he self-selects out of science.

By default, all heterodox economists are one decisive step ahead of orthodox economists, albeit in widely different ways. The French anti-autistic students were in any case more intelligent and consequent than their peers in other parts of the world. But they did not go far enough because after rigorous debunking you face the real problem.

“The moral of the story is simply this: it takes a new theory, and not just the destructive exposure of assumptions or the collection of new facts, to beat an old theory.” (Blaug, 1998, p. 703)

Clearly, at the moment there is no convincing new heterodox approach and because of this the professors cannot do anything other than to fall back on neoclassics-plus-1000-caveats or pluralistic wish-wash.

There is only one way forward and this is called in science a paradigm shift. This is the task of Constructive Heterodoxy.*

Indeed, there is absolutely nothing worth keeping of standard microeconomics. Economics is a failed science. From this, Joan Robinson already drew the correct conclusion: Scrap the lot and start again!

Egmont Kakarot-Handtke

Blaug, M. (1998). Economic Theory in Retrospect. Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press, 5th edition.

* For the new curriculum see here