February 13, 2017

Economics is a science? You must be joking!

Comment on Lars Syll on ‘Dani Rodrik a heterodox economist? You must be joking!’

Blog-Reference and Blog-Reference

What ― roughly ― is an orthodox economist? An OE believes that ...
(OE1) “There is nothing basically wrong with standard theory and economics textbooks.”
(OE2) “An aspiring economist has to formulate clear models.”
(OE3) “These models can incorporate a wide range of assumptions.”
(OE4) “If it isn’t modeled, it isn’t economics.”
(OE5) “Newer generations of models do not render the older generations wrong or less relevant.”

What ― roughly ― is a traditional heterodox economist? A HE believes that ...
(HE1) “There is a lack of fundamental diversity and a narrowing of the curriculum.”
(HE2) “There is a frustrating lack of real world relevance.”
(HE3) “A more open and pluralistic theoretical and methodological attitude is needed.”
(HE4) “We really don’t want to be force-fed with mainstream neoclassical deductive-axiomatic analytical formalism.”
(HE5) “The slogan ‘If it isn’t modeled, it isn’t economics’ is not pluralism but a methodological reductionist straightjacket.”
(HE6) “Analytical formalism and mathematical methods often makes the analysis irrelevant from an empirical-realist point of view.”
(HE7) “Variations of the same old mathematical-deductive ilk are not heterodox in any substantial way.”

What ― roughly ― is a theoretical economist (= scientist in contradistinction to the agenda pusher of political economics) or constructive heterodox economist. A cHE holds that ...
(cHE1) “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)
(cHE2) Neither Orthodoxy nor traditional Heterodoxy has the true theory. Economics is a failed science. The four main approaches ― Walrasianism, Keynesianism, Marxianism, Austrianism ― are mutually contradictory, axiomatically false, and all got the pivotal economic concept profit wrong.#1
(cHE3) Standard theory and economics textbooks are scientifically worthless.#2
(cHE4) Since Adam Smith economic policy guidance never had a sound scientific foundation.#3
(cHE5) Economics is in need of a paradigm shift from false microfoundations and false macrofoundations to consistent macrofoundations.
(cHE6) If it isn’t macro-axiomatized, it isn’t economics.
(cHE7) The pluralism of false theories is indefensible.
(cHE8) The true theory is characterized by material and formal consistency. The true theory is not a matter of belief, credibility, authority, tradition, majority, political color or opinion but of proof.
(cHE9) A materially/formally consistent theory is the best mental representation of reality that is humanly possible. There is only one true theory, the rest is either proto-scientific rubbish (storytelling, political economics) or provable false or undecidable/inconclusive wish-wash, that is, it belongs forever to the intellectual swamp where “nothing is clear and everything is possible.” (Keynes)
(cHE10) Theoretical economics has to be judged according to the criteria true/false and NOTHING else. The criteria like/dislike or good/bad or good/evil or useful/useless or right/left do NOT apply. They apply in the political sphere but not in the scientific sphere.
(cHE11) Theoretical economics has been hijacked since the founding fathers by political economics. Politics cannot do other than to corrupt science. In order to eliminate the ultimate cause of the failure of both Orthodoxy and traditional Heterodoxy a strict separation of politics and science has to be established in what hitherto counted as economics.
(cHE12) The claim as expressed in the title “Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel” cannot be upheld. Currently, economics does not satisfy the well-defined criteria (material/formal consistency) of science. Both Orthodoxy and traditional Heterodoxy is proto-scientific rubbish or what Feynman called cargo cult science.

Egmont Kakarot-Handtke

#1 See ‘The Profit Theory is False Since Adam Smith
#2 See ‘The father of modern economics and his imbecile kids
#3 See ‘Unemployment is high because economics is false: period, full stop, end of story


REPLY to Ralph Musgrave on Feb 14

There is no need to wreck your brain with my longer posts. Here is the 209 character summary of ALL posts for people with a reduced attention span:

The four main approaches ― Walrasianism, Keynesianism, Marxianism, Austrianism ― are mutually contradictory, axiomatically false, materially/formally inconsistent, and all got the pivotal concept of the subject matter, i.e. profit, wrong.

Economics is a failed science and both orthodox and heterodox economists are incompetent scientists. This applies to Rodrik, Syll, Musgrave, to name only three, otherwise this is going to become an overly long post.

Related cross-references Incompetence and cross-references Pluralism and cross-references Paradigm-shift and 'The methodological blunders of fake scientists'