November 15, 2016

Economists: Jacks of all trades ― except economics

Comment on merijntknibbe on ‘Global warming: bet on it’


The state of economics is this: there is political economics and theoretical economics. The founding fathers called themselves political economists, that is, they left no doubt that their main business was agenda pushing. Economists never got out of political economics. In other words, theoretical economics (= science) ultimately could not emancipate itself from political economics (= agenda pushing). And this is how economics became a failed science.

What is entirely missing among economists is an understanding of what science is all about. More specifically, economists miss their very subject matter.* It is NOT the task of the economist to dabble in psychology, sociology, political sciences, geopolitics, law, history, anthropology, social philosophy, biology/Darwinism, etcetera. And it is NOT their task to dabble in climatology. Whether there is global warming in the short/long run and whether it is anthropogenic or not is a question which falls outside the scientific competence of economists. The main reason is that economists have NO scientific competence at all.

The proof is in the current state of economics. Economics is a failed science. More specifically, political economists have produced not much, if anything, of scientific value in the last 200+ years.

“In order to tell the politicians and practitioners something about causes and best means, the economist needs the true theory or else he has not much more to offer than educated common sense or his personal opinion.” (Stigum)

There is no such thing as a true economic theory. The four main approaches Walrasianism, Keynesianism, Marxianism, Austrianism are mutually contradictory and axiomatically false, that is, beyond repair. These failed approaches are in a zombie state ― dead but not buried ― waiting to be replaced by a superior paradigm.

What economists have produced so far is scientific rubbish: much political opinion but no scientific knowledge, which comes in the form of a materially and formally consistent theory about how the actual economy works.

Both, Orthodoxy and traditional Heterodoxy is lost for science. Economists cannot be taken seriously ― not when they speak about the economy and still less when they talk about global warming.

Egmont Kakarot-Handtke

* See ‘Economists’ three-layered scientific incompetence’ and ‘Mental messies and loose losers

Related 'There is NO such thing as an economic expert' and 'Economists cannot do the simple math of profit — better keep them out of politics' and for more details of the big picture see cross-references Incompetence