August 3, 2021
What is economics? (I)
Comment on James Galbraith on ‘What is economics?’*
James Galbraith's first sentence reads: “Economics is a policy discipline” and it is false. Because the premise is false the rest of his argument is false.
Economics is a science. The first thing to know about science is that it is ontologically different from politics. The strict separation of science and politics is imperative because politics corrupts everything. This happened to economics.#1
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.
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. Economics is a failed science, or, in Feynman's term a cargo cult science. The Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel is a fraud because there is NO such thing as economic sciences.
Right policy depends on true theory. Economists do NOT have the true theory. So, economic policy guidance (left/center/right does not matter) NEVER has had sound scientific foundations. Economists are NOT scientists but clowns/useful idiots in the political Circus Maximus.#2 James Galbraith is no exception.
Science is defined by material/formal consistency: “Research is, in fact, a continuous discussion of the consistency of theories: formal consistency insofar as the discussion relates to the logical cohesion of what is asserted in joint theories; material consistency insofar as the agreement of observations with theories is concerned.” (Klant)#3
The fact is: the major approaches ― Walrasianism, Keynesianism, Marxianism, Austrianism, MMT, Pluralism ― are mutually contradictory, axiomatically false, materially/formally inconsistent and ALL got the foundational economic concepts of profit/income/value wrong.#4, #5, #6
The fact that economists have in 200+ years not gotten their foundational concepts right is disqualifying. To this day, economics is proto-scientific garbage, economic policy has no sound scientific foundations, and in their utter incompetence economists are a hazard to their fellow citizens.#7
Economists are stupid or corrupt or both. Stupid because Walrasian microfoundations and Keynesian macrofoundations are provably false. And when the foundations are false the whole analytical superstructure is scientifically worthless. Corrupt, because economists push a political agenda under the guise of science.#8 Of all moral evils, this is the worst.
* RWER issue 96
#1 For details of the big picture see cross-references Political Economics/Stupidity/Corruption
#2 For details of the big picture see cross-references Failed/Fake Scientists
#3 For details of the big picture see cross-references Proto-Science/Cargo Cult Science/Fake Science
#6 For details of the big picture see cross-references Profit/Distribution
Related 'How the Intelligent Non-Economist Can Refute Every Economist Hands Down' and 'Confused Confusers: How to Stop Thinking Like an Economist and Start Thinking Like a Scientist' and 'Disgrace again ― is economics really that bad?' and 'Occasional Tweets: What is economics?' and 'As Napoleon said: don’t listen to economists' and 'What is economics? (II)'.
Wikimedia AXEC172 Scientific incompetence ― the smoking gun proof