January 24, 2017

Economists: Incompetent? Stupid? Corrupt?

Comment on Michael Norman on ‘Stephanie Kelton BLOCKED ME on Twitter. Wow.’

Blog-Reference

This is the normal reaction of a scientifically trained non-economists when he is for the first time confronted with standard economics: “What is now taught as standard economic theory will eventually disappear, no trace of it will remain in the universities or boardrooms because it simply doesn’t work: were it engineering, the bridge would collapse.” (McCauley, 2006)

Economists, though, are a different species.

(i) The representative economist who takes his academic degree and is convinced that supply-demand-equilibrium provides an acceptable theory of how the economic system works and accepts standard economics (with the usual reservations/disclaimers/excuses*) is scientifically incompetent.

(ii) The representative economist who communicates/defends standard economics on his own blog or on the numerous economics blogs propagates a provably false theory. Walrasianism, Keynesianism, Marxianism, Austrianism are mutually contradictory, axiomatically false, and ALL got the foundational concepts of the subject matter, i.e., profit and income, wrong.

(iii) The representative economist who is given a proof in the course of a discussion that standard economics is false and does not understand the argument is not only scientifically incompetent but stupid.

(iv) The economist who understands the proof and deletes it from his blog or automatically filters all serious counter-arguments out violates scientific standards and undermines the claim that economics is a science as expressed in the title: “Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel”.

The current state of economics is that of a failed science. The propagation of the four main approaches, therefore, amounts to unintentional disinformation or intentional misinformation.

Which blogs promote serious research/discussion and which are corrupted can only be found out by testing, that is, by submitting well-argued posts. From concrete experience follows this random selection of blogs that block/delete challenging contributions (last updated Dec 6):
Economist’s View
EconoSpeak
Uneasy Money
Billy blog
Worthwhile Canadian Initiative
The Baseline Scenario
Social Democracy For The 21st Century
bradford-delong.com: Grasping Reality with Both Hands
Real-World Economics Review blog
Lars P. Syll blog
Stumbling and Mumbling
Roger Farmer's Economic Window
evonomics
Critical Macro Finance
Institute for New Economic Thinking
Naked Keynesianism
The Conversation
Information Transfer Economics
Bloomberg View
Diez Vollmer
EconBlog101
heteconomist
Fresh Economic Thinking
Noahpinion
Robert Skidelsky
Angry Bear
Renegade Inc
Social Europe
The Everyday Economist
etcetera

Note that the blog owner is entitled to reject submissions for whatever reason. There is nothing illegal in selecting the content of one’s own blog. What is at issue is the violation of well-established and well-known SCIENTIFIC standards.

How to double-check the past and actual intensity of scientific corruption in three easy steps:
(1) Go to the AXEC blog
(2) Click the label zML (ML = missing link). All posts that have been submitted but did not appear or vanished later are selected.
(3) Click Blog-Reference at the post’s header for jumping to the discussion thread and looking for the submitted AXEC post.

If you cannot find it this can mean two things: (i) a technical glitch, (ii) censorship. If this happens more than two times with the same blog it is very probably (ii). What can also happen is that a post reappears after some time. In this case, the ML label is corrected as soon as it is noticed.

This exercise confirms in greater detail what is already known since the founding fathers: economics has been hijacked and corrupted by politics. The representative economist as he presents himself on the economics blogs is a rather stupid flag-waving agenda pusher and NOT acceptable in the scientific community.

Egmont Kakarot-Handtke

* See ‘Failed economics: The losers’ long list of lame excuses


For details of the big picture see cross-references Incompetence and cross-references Failed/Fake scientists.
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COMMENT on Dan Lynch on Jan 25

You say: “I take from MMT certain parts that I like, and leave the rest.” This is (i) not very interesting for the rest of the world, (ii) entirely beside the point.

As a matter of principle, everybody has the right to his own opinion no matter how stupid, crazy, wrong, or absurd; the only exception is scientists. The ancient Greeks started science with the distinction between doxa (= opinion) and episteme (= knowledge). Scientific knowledge is well-defined by material and formal consistency. Knowledge is established by proof — belief or opinion count for NOTHING.

Opinion is the currency in the political sphere, knowledge is the currency in the scientific sphere. It is extremely important to keep both spheres separate. Since the founding fathers, though, economists have not emancipated themselves from politics. They claim to do science but they have never risen above the level of opinion, belief, wish-wash, storytelling, soapbox propaganda, and sitcom gossip.#1

So, the point with MMT is this:
1. There is a mistake/error/blunder in the formal foundations of MMT. In other words, MMT does not satisfy the scientific criterion of logical consistency.#2
2. The formal proof has been submitted to an MMT blog.#3
3. This proof has NOT been answered but simply deleted.
4. It is against the most elementary scientific rules to suppress refutation. As everybody knows from Popper “... science is one of the very few human activities — perhaps the only one — in which errors are systematically criticized and fairly often, in time, corrected.”
5. MMT is fake science or what Feynman called cargo cult science. The same holds for Walrasianism, Keynesianism, Marxianism, Austrianism.

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)

Economists do NOT have the true theory and because of this, all economic policy proposals are worthless — nothing more than personal opinion and soapbox blather.

Economics in general, and this includes MMT, has to be thrown out of science because of the 200+ years violation of well-defined and well-known scientific standards.

#1 See ‘Gossip economics’ and 'Delusions of useful idiots'
#2 See ‘The final implosion of MMT
#3 See ‘Modern moronomic theory

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COMMENT on Dan Lynch, Neil Wilson on Jan 25

Dan Lynch says: “Instead it [economics] should be taught as philosophy, ethics, or religion.”

Now, this is exactly what has happened in the past 200+ years.#1 And this is why economics is a failed science: “... we know little more now about ‘how the economy works,’ ... than we knew in 1790 after Adam Smith completed the last revision of The Wealth of Nations.” (Clower) In the same time span, physics went from the Law of Gravity to Quantum Mechanics.

Imagine a philosopher and a guru discussing. Says the philosopher, let’s build an aircraft and fly to a South Sea island and have a good life there. Says the guru, better let’s fly to Tibet and search for spiritual enlightenment there. Enters the physicist with the remark: you folks will go nowhere because you have no idea of the laws of aerodynamics, thermodynamics, material science, etcetera and because of this you will never get anything off the ground.

The situation in economics is analogous. The discussion about capitalism and communism has always been a pointless distraction because economists do NOT know how the monetary economy works. Walrasianism, Keynesianism, Marxianism, Austrianism are mutually contradictory, axiomatically false, and ALL got the foundational concepts of the subject matter, i.e., profit and income, wrong. Economist do not even understand the elementary mathematics of accounting as the discussion about MMT has shown.#2

The primary question is how to get out of the state of a proto-science, fake science, pseudoscience, cargo cult science, failed science ... Certainly NOT with more philosophy or religion or more sitcom blathering.#3

A side issue is how did we get into this mess? The most obvious hypothesis is because both orthodox and heterodox economists are incompetent, stupid, and corrupt. Your brain-dead posts about capitalism and communism corroborate this hypothesis.

By the way, the economic laws for the monetary economy are the SAME under capitalism and communism just as the laws of aerodynamics are the same whether one flies to the South Sea or to Tibet.#4

#1 See also ‘Economics: Poor philosophy, poor psychology, poor science
#2 See ‘The final implosion of MMT
#3 See ‘From Orthodoxy to Heterodoxy to Sysdoxy
#4 See the First Economic Law on Wikimedia and the Profit Law here


Related 'Gossip economics'