November 26, 2016

FakeNews, FakeScience: economics in the information age

Comment on Mark Thoma on ‘Today’s Economic Political Winds Could Turn Into Tomorrow’s Tornado’#1


Economics consists of four main approaches ― Walrasianism, Keynesianism, Marxianism, Austrianism ― which are mutually contradictory and axiomatically false. Economics is NOT a science and because of this the claim as expressed in the title ‘Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel’ is false.

The Bank of Sweden is, of course, entitled to award prizes but is in NO position to upgrade a cargo cult science to a science. Actually, the Bank is misleading the general public about the dismal state of economics. Whether unintentionally or intentionally is a matter of indifference. What counts is the effect on the general public.

What the public has to be aware of is that 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 really got out of political economics. In other words, theoretical economics (= science) ultimately could not emancipate itself from political economics (= agenda pushing).#2 And this is how economics became a FakeScience.

This carries over to politics: “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)

Economists do NOT have the true theory. Because of this, economic policy guidance never had sound scientific foundations. And it does not matter at all whether this guidance has been more rightist or more leftist. ALL political economists are FakeScientists.

The fact of the matter is that economists do not know how the actual economy works.#3 They do not even understand the foundational concepts of their subject matter, viz. profit and income.#4 What is communicated in the economics curriculum has no valid scientific content.#5

Increasingly, economic debates takes place on dedicated blogs. Needless to emphasize that the debates should satisfy scientific standards: first of all, open access, objective/informed argumentation, commitment to material and logical consistency, no political agenda pushing, no false information, no white noise, no sitcom stuff and, most importantly, no censorship by the blog owner.

At present, are economics blogs strictly dedicated to scientific discourse or are they abused for agenda pushing? No surprise here: because Walrasianism, Keynesianism, Marxianism, Austrianism are FakeScience what happens on the economics blogs is mainly FakeDiscourse.#6, #7

As far as economics is concerned, the information age has not so much increased the dissemination of scientific knowledge but rather the spreading and spinning of opinion. Time for theoretical economics (= science) to execute the clear-cut separation from political economics (= agenda pushing) and to do the qualitative leap from the current disinformation phase to the often advertised information age.

Egmont Kakarot-Handtke

#1 The Fiscal Times
#2 See also ‘Scientific suicide in the revolving door
#3 See also ‘There is NO such thing as an economic expert
#4 See ‘Profit and the collective failure of economists
#5 See ‘The father of modern economics and his imbecile kids
#6 A random selection of blogs that block/delete contributions: Economists View, EconoSpeak, Uneasy Money, Billy blog, Worthwhile Canadian Initiative, Naked Keynesianism, Critical Macro Finance, Real-World Economics Review blog, Lars P. Syll blog ...
#7 See also ‘Wikipedia and the promotion of economists’ idiotism

ADDENDUM on Dec 30

Note on the Link to ‘Fake Academe, Looking Much Like the Real Thing’ NYT Dec 29

An economics blog is definitely the wrong place to alert people about fake academe. Economics is a fake science since Adam Smith. For details see ‘FakeNews, FakeScience: economics in the information age’ and ‘The real problem with the economics Nobel