January 2, 2019

Heterodoxy’s trouble with macro

Comment on Asad Zaman on ‘Romer’s Trouble With Macro’


“In light of the five propositions listed above, there are two major tasks that emerge as important for the heterodoxy. One of the tasks is to prove the truth of the five propositions. This is generally where most of the effort is being made. … However, I believe that the SECOND task, not undertaken here, is much more important, as well as greatly neglected, and not well understood. We must reflect on the nature of a world where lunatic asylum class theories are propounded at leading universities throughout the world, and taught to the brightest (but innocent) students who come to believe them. What is the nature of knowledge? How do we come to believe in ridiculous theories?”

Asad Zaman runs again in the wrong direction.#1 No, there is just one task: “The moral of the story is simply this: it takes a new theory, and not just the destructive exposure of assumptions or the collection of new facts, to beat an old theory.” (Blaug)

The failure of macroeconomics since Keynes is a fact#2 but Asad Zaman somehow forgets to mention that Heterodoxy never managed to beat something so ridiculously wrong as orthodox economics. Heterodoxy itself is a failure.#3 Like their orthodox colleagues, heterodox and pluralist economists are too stupid for elementary algebra and never realized the blunder in Keynes' macrofoundations that invalidates the whole of macroeconomics.

It is not too hard to see why economics is, after 200+ years, still at the proto-scientific level. Economics consists of 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.#4, #5

Heterodoxy’s failure consists of being unable to develop the true economic theory. Both Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy have violated the principle of the separation of science and politics and have wasted their energies on political agenda pushing. The actual status of economics can be defined as the pluralism of provably false theories.

The inevitable Paradigm Shift in economics consists of the replacement of false Walrasian microfoundations and false Keynesian macrofoundations by true macrofoundations.#6

Asad Zaman, though, defines a completely different research program: “What is the nature of knowledge? How do we come to believe in ridiculous theories?” This is neither a mystery nor a secret: economists are either stupid or corrupt or both. There is no real difference between Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy.#7

Egmont Kakarot-Handtke

#1 Refutation of Asad Zaman’s heterodox methodology: all arguments you ever need
#2 Macroeconomics ― dead since Keynes
#3 For details see cross-references Heterodoxy
#4 Why is economics such a scientific embarrassment?
#5 The biggest scientific mistake of the last centuries, and it has much to do with academic economists
#6 From false microfoundations to true macrofoundations
#7 Throw them out! Orthodox and heterodox economists are unfit for science

Related 'The failure of Post-Keynesianism' and 'Economists: Time to say goodbye' and 'Macroeconomics: Drain the scientific swamp' and 'Kalecki and Keynes: The double macroeconomic false start' and 'Keynes, Kalecki, MMT, and the accidental invention of the perpetual profit machine' and 'Heterodoxy ― an axiomatic failure just like Orthodoxy' and 'How Heterodoxy became the venue for science’s scum' and 'Real-World Economics: The sanctuary of stupidity and corruption'.

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