Do Economists Project Childhood Fear into Policy?
|March 1, 2014||Posted by Staff under Editorials|
This 2014 excerpt of Alternet, Feb 24, is by Lynn Stuart Parramore.
The typical mainstream economist is about as good at making predictions as a monkey reading tea leaves.
Take the financial crisis — only a few economists outside the mainstream saw it coming.
The profession of economics projects their pathologies onto the rest of us.
Economists are in love with mathematical models, despite the fact that they often don’t work.
When asked by Congress why he was unable to warn Americans about the coming sh*tstorm, Alan Greenspan offered an uncharacteristic admission: the model he had used to assess the economy for decades was not worth a hill of beans.
Like most other fields, economics is dominated by elites who get to decide what’s acceptable. You can introduce a new idea to these elites, that’s fine — but if you start questioning their methodologies, you will run into trouble. You’re not going to get published, get tenure, or be invited back to next year’s conference.
People in power tend to think and behave in ways that consciously, or unconsciously, legitimize, underscore, and perpetuate their power.
Ed. Notes: Things go in cycles. Decades ago Hazel Henderson noted economics is a form of brain disease. Yet is the explanation psychology or politics?
People can’t do economies without ownership, and property is rife with illegitimate claims. Economists, if they expect to be paid, have to overlook how gains are made, and must focus squarely on just counting the gains. You can’t really do a science that way.
For economics ever to become a science, it’d have to get serious about noting the difference between earnings and non-earnings, between our spending that rewards another person’s labor or capital and our spending that rewards another person’s privilege, such as a claim on land. Economist would have to admit there is private wealth and common wealth. But before they’re psychologically able to do that, probably geonomics will take over.