February 28, 2018

Economics: When the scientifically unfit blather about science

Comment on Alan Y. Wang on ‘No, Economics Is Not a Science’

Blog-Reference and Blog-Reference

It is absurd in the extreme when proto-scientific morons who have not gotten the foundational concepts of their own discipline right and fail at the elementary mathematics of accounting waffle about advanced physics and mathematics.#1

The fact is that the major approaches ― Walrasianism, Keynesianism, Marxianism, Austrianism ― are mutually contradictory, axiomatically false, materially/formally inconsistent and all got the pivotal economic concept of profit wrong. This is the actual state: provably false
• profit theory, for 200+ years,
• Walrasian microfoundations (including equilibrium), for 150+ years,
• Keynesian macrofoundations (including I=S/IS-LM), for 80+ years.

Economics is a science without scientists. Feynman called this phenomenon cargo cult science: “They’re doing everything right. The form is perfect. ... But it doesn’t work. ... So I call these things cargo cult science because they follow all the apparent precepts and forms of scientific investigation, but they’re missing something essential.”

What is missing among economists is an understanding of what science is all about. Allyn Wang is no exception. He is just repeating all the silly excuses that have already been refuted one by one.#2

And exactly this is the modus operandi of economics as Morgenstern observed back in 1942: “In economics we should strive to proceed, wherever we can, exactly according to the standards of the other, more advanced, sciences, where it is not possible, once an issue has been decided, to continue to write about it as if nothing had happened.”

Economics is the senseless repetition of false and refuted theories/models/arguments. Economics is still at the proto-scientific level because:
• The whole subject matter is ill-defined. Economics is NOT a so-called social science but a systems science.#3
• The foundational concepts of the subject matter are ill-defined. There is no proper axiomatization. The representative economist cannot tell the difference between profit and income. This is like medieval physics before the concept of energy was properly defined and fully understood.
• Theories/models contain blatant nonentities, e.g. utility, equilibrium, rational expectations. This results in pointless dancing-angels-on-a-pinpoint debates.#4
• Economists violate scientific standards on a daily basis.

Economics claims to be a science since Adam Smith/Karl Marx. The economics Nobel bears the title: “Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel”. The fact is that economics is the worst fraud in the history of modern science.

Egmont Kakarot-Handtke

#1 For details of the big picture see cross-references Failed/Fake Scientists
#2 Failed economics: The losers’ long list of lame excuses
#3 For details of the big picture see cross-references Not a Science of Behavior
#4 Economics: communication without content

Related 'Yes, economics is a bogus science' and 'Economists still don’t get Econ 101 right'. For details of the big picture see cross-references Proto-Science/Cargo Cult Science/Fake Science.

REPLY to Tom Hickey on Mar 1

You say: “The trick in science is getting the measurements right, as well as clarifying the concepts involved. Samuelson and Solow were better mathematicians than Sraffa and Robinson but they lost in the Cambridge capital controversy. Robinson and Sraffa were very good at economic philosophy, a key aspect of which is clarifying concepts.”

The fact of the matter is that neither Samuelson, Solow, Sraffa, nor Robinson got the foundational concepts right and ever rose above the level of proto-scientific blather. They had the blunder fresh before their eyes but realized nothing.

Keynes wrote in the GT: “Income = value of output = consumption + investment. Saving = income − consumption. Therefore saving = investment.” (p. 63) This is utter conceptual crap but Post- and After- and Anti-Keynesians up to MMT and the philosopher Tom Hickey swallowed it without turning an eyelid.

Here comes the strictly formal proof of the scientific incompetence of the representative economist.

In the elementary production-consumption economy, which consists of the household and the business sector,#1 three configurations are logically possible: (i) consumption expenditures are equal to wage income C=Yw, (ii) C is less than Yw, (iii) C is greater than Yw.

In case (i) the monetary saving of the household sector Sm≡Yw−C is zero and the monetary profit of the business sector Qm≡C−Yw, too, is zero. The product market is cleared, i.e. X=O.
In case (ii) monetary saving Sm is positive and the business sector makes a loss, i.e. Qm is negative.
In case (iii) monetary saving Sm is negative, i.e. the household sector dissaves, and the business sector makes a profit, i.e. Qm is positive.

It always holds Qm≡−Sm. The business sector makes a profit only if consumption expenditures C are greater than wage income Yw, that is, if the household sector dissaves, that is if household sector debt increases. In this case, the value of output is greater than income and this CONTRADICTS Keynes’ premise Income = value of output.

So, the premise of macroeconomics is false and the whole bunch of intellectually challenged economists from Keynes onward did not spot the blunder until this day.#2 The point to grasp is that economics is still at the proto-scientific level because economists lack the most elementary logical capacities.

That these Trump University scientists are awarded faux Nobel Prizes completes the picture of progressive delirium harmoniously.

#1 The elementary production-consumption economy is given by three macro 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. For a start holds X=O.
#2 Mr. Keynes, Prof. Krugman, IS-LM, and the End of Economics as We Know It

Related 'Economics: communication without content'. For details of the big picture see cross-references Scientific Incompetence.