August 4, 2015

Watery wish-wash

Comment on Lafayette on ‘Freshwater’s wrong turn’


You ask “What is the difference between political and theoretical economics?” Quite simple, theoretical economics satisfies the following two criteria, all the rest is political economics.

“Research is in fact a continuous discussion of the consistency of theories: formal consistency insofar as the discussion relates to the logical cohesion of what is asserted in joint theories; material consistency insofar as the agreement of observations with theories is concerned.” (Klant, 1994, p. 31)

Political economics is scientifically worthless as every genuine scientist will confirm.* To be more specific, it is not only Lucas et al. who is out of science, but also Romer et al., Krugman et al., Thoma et al., and finally bloggers like Lafayette.

How to advance from political to theoretical economics? “So we really ought to look into theories that don't work, and science that isn't science.” (Feynman, 1974, p. 11)

The actual watery quarrels provide ample illustrative material.

Egmont Kakarot-Handtke

Feynman, R. P. (1974). Cargo Cult Science. Engineering and Science, 37(7): 10–13. URL
Klant, J. J. (1994). The Nature of Economic Thought. Aldershot, Brookfield, VT: Edward Elgar.

* The Farce That Is Economics: Richard Feynman On The Social Sciences

Refers to 'Here it comes: the sexit.'  See also 'Lucas’s humbug.'