Saturday, March 1, 2014

Monkey Trials

Science threatens religion not so much because it disproves religious belief, but because the output of the scientific method tends to bring scientists to consensus. For example, Satyendra Nath Bose and Albert Einstein collaborated on quantum statistics in the 1920's despite the fact that they were from very different cultures. They produced what is now called "Bose-Einstein statistics." The scientific method defines a way for thinkers to agree with one another no matter what their backgrounds. Scientific thinking converges. For example, despite a temporary defeat, the court of reality ultimately overturned the human court's decision in the original "Scopes Monkey Trial."

The output of religious thinking, on the other hand, seems to affect religious thinkers in the opposite way. Religious thinkers seem to look for ways to disagree with one another. As a result, the world is filled with different religions, denominations, sects, and splinter groups. One would think that if religious belief had any connection with an underlying reality, then the trend of religious thought would converge rather than diverge.

We bring this up in order to highlight the divergent nature of economic thinking. One result of the Great Recession was to paste a big "Epic Failure" sign on the backs of all our economists. After decades of study and effort, meetings and arguments, published reports and reviewed papers, none of them were able to predict a major, world-shaking economic event like the Great Recession in such a way as to convince most other economists of the danger.

Like religious thinkers, current economists cannot even agree on a way to agree with one another. The result is that we can find reputable economists who will take opposite sides on most any question. This allows politicians to pick the economic policies they want and then find economists to support them rather than use any rational basis for their decisions.

The point is not that we at think we have a truly scientific approach to economics that has the power to convince most other economists of the value of our proposals. The point is that after the Great Recession, current economics is no longer reputable. The Great Recession exposed the fact that devising economic policies today is, at best, a guessing game that anyone can play. Today's economics lost its trial in the court of reality. It is time to challenge conventional economic wisdom, and that is what we are doing at

(Please note that once again, we are trying to shorten our posts so we can work on our book.)

The way capitalism should be.

Socialism for the socialists and capitalism for the capitalists.

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