The key to understanding economics is that there are TWO versions: political economics and theoretical economics. The main differences are: (i) The objective of political economics is to successfully push an agenda, the objective 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.
Theoretical economics (= science) had been hijacked from the very beginning by the agenda pushers of political economics. Political economics has NOT achieved anything of scientific value. This is the actual state of economics, provably false:
• profit theory, for 200+ years,
• microfoundations, for 150+ years,
• macrofoundations, for 80+ years,
• the application of elementary logic and mathematics since the founding fathers.
Needless to emphasize that this was not a linear process. There were always economists who were committed to the scientific standards of material/formal consistency but in the end, political agenda pushing retained the upper hand and economics never got out of the proto-scientific swamp.
The vast majority of economists have been devoured by the swamp. Barkley Rosser is a case in point. His post ‘MBS Must Go’ has ZERO scientific content and is plain political agenda pushing.
Since the founding fathers, economics violates the first rule of science, i.e. the strict separation of science and politics.#1 As a result, economics fell prey to the Reverse Alchemy of Communication which means: If transposed from the sphere of science to the sphere of politics, every scientific idea (tentative or well-established through numerous logical and empirical cross-checks), is with absolute necessity perverted/inverted in the process.
As a failed science, economics needs a Paradigm Shift. Paradigm Shift means in methodological terms a change of foundational premises/axioms. Needless to emphasize, that economists also perverted the concept of Paradigm Shift. Transposed from the scientific sphere to the political sphere of agenda-pushing it now means nothing else than a change of policy.
“So how do you change paradigms? Thomas Kuhn, who wrote the seminal book about the great paradigm shifts of science, has a lot to say about that.
• You keep pointing at the anomalies and failures in the old paradigm.
• You keep speaking and acting, loudly and with assurance, from the new one.
• You insert people with the new paradigm in places of public visibility and power.
• You don’t waste time with reactionaries; rather, you work with active change agents and with the vast middle ground of people who are open-minded.”#2
Of course, these tips are the basics of marketing/public relations/rhetoric/ propaganda/ proselytizing/agenda pushing.
To this day, economists do not understand what science and a Paradigm Shift is all about.#3 Since Adam Smith/Karl Marx, they never rose above the level of useful political idiots.
#1 For details of the big picture see cross-references Political Economics/Stupidity/Corruption
#2 Links to Twitter, Kate Raworth, Club of Rome
#3 The inexorable Paradigm Shift in economics
From false microfoundations to true macrofoundations
The new macroeconomic paradigm