September 7, 2019

Is doing economics really depressing?

Comment on Barkley Rosser on ‘Is Doing Environmental Economics Especially Depressing?’


What exactly is environmental economics and why is it even more depressing than ordinary economics? In a previous post, Barkley Rosser told the world: “I have just learned via his New York Times obit that Marty Weitzman hanged himself, a suicide, reportedly depressed at his not gwtting the Nobel Prize and making a math error in an unpublished, circulates paper this spring. This is just too depressing.”#1

So, it was NOT so much environmental degradation that depressed Martin Weitzman but that he did not get the Nobel.#1 However, at this point, all is just speculation. Perhaps Martin Weitzman realized that economics is a failed/fake science and that he had taken an active part in the greatest scientific fraud of modern times. This, though, contradicts what his colleagues say about him: “Marty Weitzman was the pre-eminent environmental economist of the modern era, which is to say of all times,” (Nordhaus)*

In the NYT obituary, Martin Weitzman is quoted with: “Most everything we know tells us climate change is bad,” and “Most everything we don’t know tells us it’s probably much worse.” There is nothing of economics in this statement. In fact, many scientists and laypeople have come to this opinion long before Martin Weitzman.**

The age-old problem with economists is that they are strong on opinion but weak on knowledge and that they suffer from mental incontinence, that is, the unstoppable urge to blather about any issue between heaven and earth, that is, from crime, addiction, psychology, sociology, philosophy, religion, literature, ethics#2 to Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz al Sa'ud and the Khashoggi affair (“He is guilty guilty guuilty”).#3 The depressing fact for non-economists about economics is that economists have to this day NO idea of how the economy works. The major approaches ― Walrasianism, Keynesianism, Marxianism, Austrianism, MMT ― are mutually contradictory, axiomatically false, materially/formally inconsistent and all got the foundational economic concept of profit wrong.

Economists have NO scientific knowledge about their own subject matter. They wonder whether the ecosystem will eventually break down but claim that the market economy is a self-optimizing stable equilibrium system. The fact is that the economic system will probably break down earlier than the ecosystem.#4 But no economist ever gets depressed about that.

Permanently growing public debt is an indicator that the system is broken. So-called free-market economies like the USA are on the full life support of the State. The Oligarchy is continuously fed by deficit-spending/money-creation. The Oligarchy’s financial wealth grows in lockstep with public debt. People are told that they have nothing to fear because the sovereign state cannot go bankrupt. The Oligarchy, in turn, uses the opulent free lunches to corrupt what remains of the state’s legislative, executive, and judiciary institutions.

Curiously, economists are neither depressed about the run-away economy nor about the proto-scientific state of their discipline. They simply declare themselves as the best scientists of all times and reward themselves with oligarchy-sponsored faux Nobels. On average, among all failed/fake scientists economists have the most fun. If economists are depressed the reason most probably lies elsewhere.

Egmont Kakarot-Handtke

* New York Times
** For example, Dane Wigington YouTube
#1 No False-Hero-Memorials
#2 Economists: Jacks-of-all-trades ― except economics
#3 Urgent: Taking politics out of economics
#4 What comes first: eco-self-destruction or oeco-self-destruction?