Blog-Reference and Blog-Reference and Blog-Reference on Sep 26
Lars Syll gives a heterodox inventory of all that is wrong with economics. This, in turn, initiates the correct sequence for the next steps to be taken.
(i) Taking stock
The major approaches ― Walrasianism, Keynesianism, Marxianism, Austrianism ― and their variants are mutually contradictory, axiomatically false, materially/formally inconsistent and all got the foundational economic concept of profit wrong.
• profit theory, for 200+ years,#1
• Walrasian microfoundations (including equilibrium), for 150+ years,
• Keynesian macrofoundations (including I=S, IS-LM), for 80+ years.#2
This means (1) that both orthodox and heterodox economics is cargo cult science, and (2), that the textbooks from Samuelson to Mankiw and Rodrik are proto-scientific garbage.#3
(ii) Paradigm Shift
Economics is a failed science. The major approaches are indefensible. The arguments of the representative economist about specific difficulties of his subject matter have to be taken for what they are: as excuses, more precisely, as thoroughly refuted excuses.#4
The fact that an approach is axiomatically false means that it cannot be improved but must be fully replaced.
(iii) Systems science
The representative economist maintains that economics is a social science. This is a popular misapprehension. In fact, economics is a systems science. Economics is about how the economy works and NOT about Human Nature/motives/behavior/action.#5 These issues are left to psychology, sociology, anthropology, history, Political Science, social philosophy, biology/evolution theory etcetera.
(iv) Separation of Politics and Science
The question about the Good Society is a political question that has to be answered in the political realm and NOT in the scientific realm. Already J. S. Mill was quite explicit about the separation of politics and science.#6
(v) True macrofoundations
The fact is that the subject matter of economics is ill-defined or, in methodological terms, that economics is axiomatically false.
A Paradigm Shift means in practical terms that economics has to move from false Walrasian microfoundations and false Keynesian macrofoundations to true macrofoundations because if it isn’t macro-axiomatized, it isn’t economics.#7
The failure of economics is mainly due to the Fallacy of Insufficient Abstraction. In other words, economists cannot rise above the level of storytelling. One storyline is that of supply-demand-equilibrium and the wonderful feats of the Invisible Hand, the other storyline is that of the struggle between the good guys = workers and the bad guys = capitalists. Storytelling is proto-scientific garbage but people like it.
The economy is an abstraction. The correct abstraction to start with is what Keynes called the ‘monetary theory of production’. Scientific theories are defined by material/formal consistency.
The analysis proceeds top-down, that is, it starts with macrofoundations which are step by step differentiated, in other words, the analysis advances from the elementary to the complex.
There is no vague blather, no rhetoric, no metaphors, no psychologism, no sociologism, no second-guessing of motives or expectations, no sitcom talk, no narrative, and no storytelling. There is nothing but measurable variables, equations, and graphs. Because all variables are measurable all conclusions are testable.
(vii) The elementary production-consumption economy
The objectively given and most elementary configuration of the economy consists of the household and the business sector which in turn consists initially of one giant fully integrated firm.#8 The elementary production-consumption economy is formally given with
• Three macroeconomic axioms:
(A1) Yw=WL wage income Yw is equal to wage rate W times working hours. L,
(A2) O=RL output O is equal to productivity R times working hours L,
(A3) C=PX consumption expenditure C is equal to price P times quantity bought/sold X.
• Two initial conditions: market-clearing, i.e. X=O, and budget balancing, i.e. C=Yw
• Two definitions: monetary saving of the household sector Sm≡Yw−C and monetary profit of the business sector Qm≡C−Yw. For the sectoral balances holds Qm≡−Sm. This is the elementary version of the macroeconomic Profit Law.
(viii) The evolving economy
The axioms (A1) to (A3) refer to a period of predetermined length. The variables for one period and the next period are connected by rates of change (deterministic or random). The proper formal representation is not a system of equations but a simulation. The open-ended simulation is given with the Economics God Equation.#9
(ix) The market
It is a must to forget a whole bunch of NONENTITIES: utility, production function, supply function resp. SS-curve, demand function resp. DD-curve, equilibrium/disequilibrium. Supply-demand-equilibrium (S-D-E), the Totem of Micro/Macro, is a NONENTITY. The macroeconomic market is formally defined with the Law of Supply and Demand.#10
(x) Employment and real growth/decline
The elementary production-consumption economy has, of course, to be expanded to the investment economy. This yields the Employment Law.#11, #12 This equation shows how employment/unemployment depends on aggregate demand and the price- and profit mechanism, i.e. on the relative changes of wage rate, price, and productivity. The growth/decline of output and changes in the income distribution can be derived from the Employment Law. The stocks of inventory, money, and capital are consistently derived from the period flows as numerical integrals.
The Employment Law proves that the market economy is inherently unstable and delivers the levers for effective policy measures.
#1 The Profit Theory is False Since Adam Smith
#2 Economics: 200+ years of scientific incompetence and fraud
#3 The father of modern economics and his imbecile kids
#4 Failed economics: The losers’ long list of lame excuses
#5 Economics is NOT about Human Nature but the economic system
#6 Economics: the emancipation of science from politics
#7 First Lecture in New Economic Thinking
#8 For the verbal description see How the intelligent non-economist can refute every economist hands down
#9 Wikimedia AXEC25 The Economics God Equation
#10 Wikimedia AXEC107f The Four Basic Economic Laws
#11 Wikimedia AXEC46 Employment Law, Investment economy
#12 Wikimedia AXEC112 Elementary production-consumption economy incl. distributed profit and money