April 25, 2017

The Krugman curse

Comment on David Glasner on ‘A Tale of Three Posts’

Blog-Reference

Humans are gregarious animals and therefore take reassurance from being part of the larger crowd and from a casual friendly pat of their leader. Accordingly, David Glasner is overjoyed to report that: “A number of my posts have achieved a fair amount of popularity, … Many, though not all, of my most widely viewed posts were mentioned by Paul Krugman in his blog. Whenever I noticed an unusually large uptick in the number of viewers visiting the blog, I usually found Krugman had linked to my post, causing a surge of viewers to my blog.”

This is a fine success according to the criteria of media-, public relations-, attention-, and reputation management. At second sight it is a comical attempt of two failed economists to mutually beef up their reputation.

David Glasner readily admits all the inconsistencies of standard economics but he is content with supply-demand-equilibrium as an explanation of how the market system works and does not feel any urge for a paradigm shift: “… most economists neither seek alternative theories nor believe that they can be found.” (Hausman) This is self-disqualifying.

Krugman, too, is unwavering committed to the orthodox paradigm: “… most of what I and many others do is sorta-kinda neoclassical because it takes the maximization-and-equilibrium world as a starting point.” This, too, is self-disqualifying.

Krugman has not realized that both the neoclassical axioms and the Keynesian I=S are false on all methodological counts but applies an inconsistent synthesis of these two inconsistent approaches in order to explain current economic events.#1, #2 But, of course, Krugman is a well-respected loudspeaker of the profession.

What David Glasner has not realized is that economics is what Feynman called a cargo cult science#3 and in this topsy-turvy world holds Shakespeare’s ‘fair is foul, and foul is fair’. This means (i) that any Top-Ten chart tells one what NOT to touch under any circumstances, and (ii), that the approval of Paul Krugman amounts to a confirmation of utter scientific failure.

So, a link from Paul Krugman, Mark Thoma, Brad DeLong and other ‘hearts and souls of the econ blogoshpere’ is not a reason to feel elated and indebted but a curse that follows one beyond the grave. The curse says: We, the mutually interlinked leaders and followers of cargo cult economics will never be accepted in the community of scientists.

Egmont Kakarot-Handtke

#1 See 'Mr. Keynes, Prof. Krugman, IS-LM, and the End of Economics as We Know It'
#2 See ‘The father of modern economics and his imbecile kids
#3 See Wikipedia


Related 'Paul the Menace' and 'Scientific suicide in the revolving door'