Monday, February 22, 2010
We've had a series of Nobel laureate economists that have dictated some very damaging policy to pretty much the whole civilized world (and the discipline of economics) for decades. I'm not super impressed with the discipline in its current form, I have to say. It comes off as kind of junk science when it oversteps its reach. Economics starts from a set of weak premises, the main one being that individuals don't matter and that prosperity of some makes up for the poverty of others. The discipline also seems to be saddled with a metaphysical dogma that one would assume to be anathema to a scientific pursuit. The dogma I am speaking of is the idea that "markets" are magical or divine and that any tampering with them is like steadying the ark of old. Never mind that there never has been a purely free market and there certainly is nothing like that in our modern highly complex and interconnected world. If economists could think about individual human beings and actually solving the myriad problems faced by humanity, we might make some progress.