Blog-Reference and Blog-Reference
There are TWO economixes: political economics and theoretical economics. The main differences are: (i) The goal of political economics is to successfully push an agenda, the goal of theoretical economics is to successfully explain how the actual economy works. (ii) In political economics anything goes; in theoretical economics, the scientific standards of material and formal consistency are observed.
Economics claims to be a science but is NOT. Theoretical economics (= science) had been hijacked from the very beginning by political economists (= agenda pushers). Political economics has produced NOTHING of scientific value in the last 200+ years.
From Adam Smith/Karl Marx up to the “Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel” economists claim that their economic policy guidance has ― in contrast to those of politicians, cranks, demagogues, preachers, snake-oil sellers, agitators, impostors, etcetera ― scientific foundations.
Fact is that there is NO greater embarrassment in the history of modern science than economics. The four main approaches ― Walrasianism, Keynesianism, Marxianism, Austrianism ― are mutually contradictory, axiomatically false, materially/formally inconsistent, and all got the foundational concept of the subject matter ― profit ― wrong. What we actually have is the pluralism of provably false theories.
Both orthodox and heterodox economics is scientifically unacceptable. Because of this, economics has nothing to offer in the way of well-founded advice: “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)
The fact is that economics has by now degenerated to pure political agenda pushing. A short visit of the econblogosphere suffices to realize that economic content has virtually evaporated:
• Tolerance And Terrorism In Saudi Arabia#2
• John Davidson’s Bad Faith Defense of General Kelly#3
• If we treat plutocracy as democracy, democracy dies#4
• Republican Class Warfare: The Next Generation#5
and so on.
Since the founding fathers, economists violate the principle of the separation of science and politics. Economics is what Feynman famously called a cargo cult science.#6
Economics is currently completing its career from failed science to fake science to political fraud.#7 It is time now to expel economists officially from the sciences. The first step is to abolish the fake economics Nobel.
#1 Why is economics such a scientific embarrassment?
#3 Uneasy Money
#4 mainly macro
#5 Economist’s View
#6 What is so great about cargo cult science? or, How economists learned to stop worrying about failure
#7 For details see cross-references Political Economics
For details of the big picture see cross-references Incompetence and cross-references Failed/Fake scientists and cross-references Debunking the Representative Economist.
You say “Numbers can never explain ‘how the actual economy works’. They can just give one numerical description after the fact. You need the wordy part of economics to attempt to do the explaining part.”
On Wikipedia, MMT gives this formula for the interdependence of sectoral balances, G−T=S−I−NX, and verbal description and then draws some economic policy conclusions.#1
The sectoral balances formula is provably false. Because of this, the “wordy part” of MMT is vacuous blather and the economic policy proposals, e.g. a pony for every American, are just silly sales talk.#2
Followers of MMT, of course, do not understand the balances formula but only the pony story. For political purposes the “wordy part” is sufficient.
Economics claims to be a science, and Mitchell, Tcherneva, Wray, Kelton, Fullwiler, Forstater, Kaboub, Tymoigne etcetera claim to do science. They are NOT. MMT is a proto-scientific sitcom and a pseudo-social spoof.#3
#1 Wikipedia Modern Monetary Theory
#2 For the full-spectrum refutation of MMT see cross-references MMT
#3 Austerity: Who takes the little man for a ride?