April 20, 2017


Comment on Simon Wren-Lewis on ‘GE2017: Why economic facts will be ignored once again’

Blog-Reference and Blog-Reference

You say: “Narratives are a way people can try to understand things they know little about, and most people know little about economics or politics. Mediamacro is a set of narratives.”

This holds for 99.9 percent of the people and 99.9 percent of the issues. The average person simply dislikes an objective explanation (e.g. the thunderbolt is an electromagnetic phenomenon subject to physical laws) and likes a subjective/emotional explanation (e.g. Zeus threw the thunderbolt because he was angry). Human communication is storytelling/ myth/gossip/spoof. The only exception is science.

Scientific explanation takes the form of the true theory with truth defined as material/ formal consistency. For the economist this means: “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)

And here is the snag: economists do not have the true theory. Economics claims to be a science, yet has never risen above the level of storytelling. The four main approaches ― Walrasianism, Keynesianism, Marxianism, Austrianism ― are mutually contradictory, axiomatically false, and materially/formally inconsistent.

Because of his lack of the true theory what the professional economist has to offer is educated common sense, his personal opinion, and poultry entrails reading. The narrative of the representative economist is qualitatively NOT different from the narrative of an experienced journalist. Economists’ policy guidance has NO sound scientific foundation since 200+ years.

Egmont Kakarot-Handtke

Related 'Politics, storytelling, and science' and 'Economics between cargo cult, farce, and fraud' and 'Economics ― from attention and reputation management to science' and 'Narrative economics and the imperatives of the sitcom' and 'Storytelling vs Theory = Politics vs Science' and 'The economist as storyteller# and 'Lucas: Confession of a scientific write-off' and 'New economic thinking, or, let’s put lipstick on the dead pig' and 'The end of storytelling' and 'Economics as poultry entrails reading' and 'No ground to lose'  and 'Schizonomics' and 'Economics is a science? You must be joking!' and 'There is NO such thing as an economic expert' and 'Economics — from storytelling to science'