August 31, 2017

Robert Solow and Lars Syll, fake scientists

Comment on Lars Syll on ‘Damon Runyon’s Law’

Blog-Reference and Blog-Reference

It is always surrealistic when an incompetent heterodox economist cites an incompetent orthodox economists approvingly. Fact is that Walrasianism, Keynesianism, Marxianism, Austrianism is mutually contradictory and provably false, i.e. materially and formally inconsistent. And both, the orthodox economist Solow#1 and the heterodox economist Syll#2 play an active role in this overall scientific bankruptcy.

Failure is not the only commonality between Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy, both subscribe also to the same excuses. Here is Solow’s comprehensive list: “Economics is a strange sort of discipline. The booby traps I mentioned often make it sound as it is all just a matter of opinion. That is not so. Economics is not a Science with a capital S. It lacks the experimental method as a way of testing hypotheses. . . . There are always differences of opinion at the cutting edge of a science, . . . . But they last longer in economics . . . and there are reasons for that. As already mentioned, rival theories cannot be put to an experimental test. All there is to observe is history, and history does not conduct experiments: too many things are always happening at once. The inferences that can be made from history are always uncertain, always disputable, . . . You can’t even count on a long and undisturbed run of history, because the ‘laws’ of behavior change and evolve.”#3

All this reveals only a complete misunderstanding of what science and economics are all about. This double incompetence manifests itself in two statements: “Unfortunately, however, economics is a social science.” and “… I suspect that the attempt to construct economics as an axiomatically based hard science is doomed to fail.”

Science consists of two essential elements: “Research is, in fact, a continuous discussion of the consistency of theories: formal consistency insofar as the discussion relates to the logical cohesion of what is asserted in joint theories; material consistency insofar as the agreement of observations with theories is concerned.” (Klant) Logical consistency is secured by applying the axiomatic-deductive method and empirical consistency is secured by applying state-of-the-art testing.#4

What both Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy fail to understand is that economics is neither a social science nor a natural science but a system science. The evident scientific incompetence of the representative economist consists in not having figured out until this very day what profit ― the pivotal concept of his subject matter ― is.

The methodological blunder of economists consists in applying either Walrasian microfoundations or Keynesian macrofoundations. Because both these axiomatic foundations are provably false economics has to move on to the correct macrofoundations. This move is called paradigm shift.#5

The current state of economics is that of a fake science or what Feynman famously called cargo cult science. This intolerable state is due to the scientific incompetence of economists and NOT to the alleged fact that there are not testable economics laws. These laws, though, refer to the economy as a system and NOT to human behavior.

In order to get out of the cul-de-sac, economics has to be redefined: Economics is the science which studies how the monetary economy works. The study of Human Nature/motives/behavior/action is the subject matter of psychology, sociology, history, biology, political science, anthropology, social philosophy, and NOT the economist’s business.

It should be plain that Walrasians, Keynesians, Marxians, and Austrians in general and Robert Solow and Lars Syll, in particular, will never make it into the history of scientific thought except perhaps as a cautionary example for the unsurpassable idiocy of fake scientists.

Egmont Kakarot-Handtke

#1 Sending Solow’s growth model to the dump of proto-scientific history
Pants kicking is over, let’s do serious economics now
Solow and the ludicrousness of economics
When substandard thinkers dabble in science it is called economics
#2 Say hello to Lars Syll, Keynes’ last parrot
#3 Failed economics: The losers’ long list of lame excuses
#4 See also ‘Quantum Theory Rebuilt From Simple Physical Principles
#5 First Lecture in New Economic Thinking