August 16, 2016

Economics and Project Augean Stable

Comment on Barkley Rosser on ‘The Man Who Saved The World From Nuclear Holocaust During The Cold War’


For every intelligent person, it is crystal clear that economics is a failed science. The two main tasks at this critical juncture are (i) positive, i.e. to promote the necessary paradigm shift, and (ii) negative, i.e. to get rid of the proto-scientific dung of the past 200 years. The latter task compares to the Fifth Labor of Heracles and is therefore called Project Augean Stable: “[Augeas] is best known for his stables, which housed the single greatest number of cattle in the country and had never been cleaned, until the time of the great hero Heracles.”#1

The problem with Barkley Rosser is that he neither contributes to (i) nor to (ii) but steadfastly continues to produce dung.

Since Smith and Marx, economics claims to be a science. And this claim is officially enshrined in the title: “Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel”.

Economics started as Political Economy. Political Economy is agenda pushing and economists from Smith, Ricardo, Marx, Keynes, Hayek, Samuelson to the present were agenda pushers first and scientists second. As a matter of fact, they were lousy scientists because they never figured out how the monetary economy works. How do we know this? We know this for sure because the profit theory is "still elusive" as every economics student knows from the Palgrave Dictionary (Desai, 2008).

Let this sink in: to this day economists have no idea about what profit is. This means that they have no idea how the market economy works. This, in turn, means, that their policy guidance is not only scientifically worthless but possibly harmful if applied. This, in turn, means that economists bear the intellectual responsibility for the social devastations of unemployment, depression etcetera. With their proven scientific incompetence economists are a menace to their fellow citizens.

Project Augean Stable starts with a clear separation of political economics (= agenda-pushing) and theoretical economics (= science). The project proceeds with flushing out all proto-scientific dung and expelling all political economists.

I had no idea who Schelling was until I read Barkley Rosser’s posts. In his last piece, he said: ... Schelling never wrote about or cared about profit rates or how profit and income are defined”. Looking up Wikipedia I learned that Schelling got the economics Nobel Prize.

Questions: (i) how can it be that an economist who does not know what profit is and who does not care to define the pivotal phenomenon of his discipline is awarded a prize for “economics sciences”, and (ii), why is Barkley Rosser hell-bent to sell an annoying political busybody who has failed in his own discipline as brilliant military/strategical thinker, and (iii), why is Barkley Rosser abusing an economics blog for propagating his silly version of the history of the Cold War, and (iv), why has Barkley Rosser not realized to this day that in the Cold War scientists were either abused or volunteered as useful idiots or fig leaves and that they NEVER were in any position to “save the world”?

Augean Project’s answers: Cold War gossip/storytelling out of economics ― flush. Abolition of the economics Nobel Prize ― flush. Expulsion of economists who cannot tell what profit is from the scientific community ― flush. Expulsion of all political agenda pushers from the sciences ― flush. Retiring Barkley Rosser from EconoSpeak ― flush.

Egmont Kakarot-Handtke

#1 Wikipedia

Source: Wikipedia

Preceding Economics: Science or cheap talk? and Samuelson or Who is the smartest smartie?.

Related 'A heap of proto-scientific garbage'


REPLY to Barkley Rosser on Aug 17

(i) You say: “I should not waste my or other readers of this blog’s time, ...” For once, I agree with you.

(ii) I said, “I had no idea who Schelling was until I read Barkley Rosser’s posts.” So, when I asked, “why is Barkley Rosser hell-bent to sell an annoying political busybody” I paraphrased his own characterization “Schelling pushed tirelessly in numerous channels, most of them private but highly placed, ...” from the perspective of those highly placed.

(iii) The whole story is surreal. Tell a highly ranked military that Schelling saved the world in the Cold War and he will laugh three days and then drop dead of apoplexy. Einstein was very well aware that for the scientists the game was over before it began: “When a reluctant Albert Einstein wrote the letter to President Roosevelt that set the American atomic bomb project in motion, he ruefully predicted to his colleagues: ‘You realize, once the military have this, they will use it, no matter what you say.’”#1

(iv) Not knowing more of Schelling than Barkley Rosser posted here, I am pretty sure that Schelling knew all this, too. After all, he was more brilliant than the brilliant but arrogant von Neumann and the brilliant but inferiority-complexed Samuelson and the brilliant equilibrist Arrow taken together. So, yes, it is probably Barkley Rosser who is the busybody here. I am pretty sure that Schelling, now age 95, is rather annoyed of being paraded as a world saver before politically retarded economics students by the storyteller, name-dropping sitcom economist, and time waster Barkley Rosser.

#1 Source