January 18, 2017

Economics ― worse than fake

Comment on Simon Wren-Lewis on ‘Fake Economics and the media’

Blog-Reference and Blog-Reference

There is political economics and theoretical economics. The founding fathers called themselves political economists, that is, they left no doubt that their main business was agenda pushing. Economists NEVER got out of political economics. In other words, theoretical economics (= science) ultimately could not emancipate itself from political economics (= agenda pushing). And this is how economics became one of the most embarrassing scientific failures of all times.#1

The fact of the matter is that economists do not know how the actual economy works. They do not even understand the foundational concepts of their subject matter, that is, profit and income.#2

The current state of economics is that of a failed science or what Feynman famously called a cargo cult science. The point is this: “In order to tell the politicians and practitioners something about causes and best means, the economist needs the true theory or else he has not much more to offer than educated common sense or his personal opinion.” (Stigum, 1991)

Economists do NOT have the true theory, that is, the four main approaches ― Walrasianism, Keynesianism, Marxianism, Austrianism ― are mutually contradictory and axiomatically false. In other words, since Adam Smith economic policy guidance has NO sound scientific foundation.

Because of this, the claim as expressed in the title ‘Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel’ is false. The Bank of Sweden is, of course, entitled to award prizes but is in NO position to upgrade a cargo cult science to a science. Actually, the Bank is misleading the general public about the dismal state of economics.#3

In their scientific incompetence both orthodox and heterodox economists are ultimately responsible for the enormous social devastations of mass unemployment.#4 Economists are not only fake scientists but a hazard to their fellow citizens.

Egmont Kakarot-Handtke

#1 See ‘Failed economics: The losers’ long list of lame excuses
#2 For details and proof see cross-references
#3 See also ‘FakeNews, FakeScience: economics in the information age
#4 See ‘How economists murdered the economy and got away with it

Related 'Economists and the destructive power of stupidity'

COMMENT on William Ryan on Jan 21

The statement ‘William Ryan killed JFK’ is true or false and nothing in between. What is likewise obvious is that it can be practically very difficult to establish the truth.

But you announce: “It won’t be long before nobody will know or trust anything about what to believe nobody will really know.”

This may be the case or not but your prophesy of a state of perfect disinformation is entirely misplaced in the present context. What is at issue here is economics understood as science. In science truth is well-defined by material and formal consistency (Klant, 1994). From history we know that it by no means an easy task to establish scientific truth but this does not invalidate the concept: “Tarski’s theory shows that we are fully entitled to use, without any qualms, the words ‘true’ and ‘false’ in their ordinary senses.” (Popper, 1994)

Science is NOT AT ALL about trust or belief or credibility, science is about proof. The problem in economics is that there is political economics and theoretical economics. Political economics has nothing to do with consistency and proof, it is plain and simple storytelling or rhetoric. Political economics is the realm of the Sophist who is since Plato defined by his claim to win any case INDEPENDENTLY of the truth or falsity of the matter.

Accordingly, the ancient Greeks introduced the distinction between opinion (= doxa) and knowledge (= episteme). This distinction parallels the distinction between political economics and theoretical economics and it parallels the distinction between the pseudo and the genuine inquirer: “A genuine inquirer aims to find out the truth of some question, whatever the color of that truth. ... A pseudo-inquirer seeks to make a case for the truth of some proposition(s) determined in advance. There are two kinds of pseudo-inquirer, the sham and the fake. A sham reasoner is concerned, not to find out how things really are, but to make a case for some immovably-held preconceived conviction. A fake reasoner is concerned, not to find out how things really are, but to advance himself by making a case for some proposition to the truth-value of which he is indifferent.” (Haack, 1997)

Can there be any doubt that Smith, Ricardo, Malthus, Marx, Keynes, Hayek, Friedman, Krugman, Varoufakis and almost everybody in-between falls into the category of political economist or fake scientist? Fake scientists thrive in the swamp between the rocks of true and false where ‘nothing is clear and everything is possible’ (Keynes).

There is not much use whining about the gigantic heap of rubbish and fake that is called economics. Nothing hinders an economist from leaving the swamp except his own scientific incompetence.