Discontents with Modern Economic Theory

I’ve rambled and wrote before on this topic, but I need to say it again: Modern economic theory is baseless bullshit.

As a philosophy major I like to pride myself on being able to look beyond the obvious, beyond what’s presented prima facie, identify shortcomings of any claims, and ask the tough, pertinent questions. That being said, I’ve spent a lot of time as an undergraduate studying economics and finance and researching  the shortcomings of the various economic assumptions built into the economic theory, their models and methods, and the policy decisions stemming from them, and I find that the vast majority of it is unfounded speculative assumptions.

Fundamentally, modern economic theory is not scientific. It is pseudoscience. While not the first person to call bullshit on the neo-classical economic theorists, Imre Lakatos did a fine job making explicit  the shortcomings of their neo-classical claims in the seventies along with his colleague Spiro Latsis in their paper Situational Determinism. This shed light on the flimsy assumptions grounding their  theories and encouraged other economists, as well as academics from other fields such as psychology, to revise many of their assumptions in favor of a more holistic, organic, and biological representation of economics, resembling a more accurate ecology of evolving human interaction. These minds produced what we now know as behavioral economics, institutional economics, environmental economics, and the most promising and nascent of all, evolutionary economics.

I’m researching a thesis topic for a macroeconomic policy seminar class so I can write a twenty-five page paper that examines and suggests macroeconomic policy. I decided that I’m going to get radical about this paper. I’m tired of holding my tongue when we sit around semicircle in class dithering on about these abstract relationships concerning abstract entities while we posit our way out of real or hypothetical economic problems with totally ad-hoc assumptions revolving around contemporary fiscal and monetary policy. It’s all bullshit.

Economists are bullshit. They are modern day bishops that instruct the quivering masses how the will of god should allot the gold reserves pinched from the pockets of these people, but in this case we have economists who, divinely ordained via their institutional accolades, instruct the blind herd according to the will of Adam Smith’s invisible hand. Which, like god, doesn’t exist.

So I’m trying to figure out a paper topic while using some tact. I’m not trying to offend and piss off my professor who, may I add, is one of the most highly respected professors at Vanderbilt, and one time economics adviser to Reagan.

So…my paper topic. There are a ton of areas I want to address. Most importantly I want to ensure that my research retains a Political liberalism framework like the one inherent to our democratic constitution. I’m not sure this is possible, however, without introducing statism. Whatever the case, I don’t think economics and political ideology can even be dealt with separately, so I’ll at least try. Some of my ideas involve discussing to formation and nature of:

  • Investment: Speculation and bubbles- Prevention policies
  • New Value-added Market Creation, Expansion, and development
  • Capital accumulation: concentration and centralization
  • Manufacturing v. Service industries as value adding enterprises
  • State Capitalism and Free Market Capitalism
  • Market Failures & Financial Regulation– Intervention Policies: Why consistently in the finance industry?
  • Credit and Debt markets: their dangers and shortcomings
  • Economics Schools and their policies: Mainstream economics v Austrian School v Modern Monetary Theorists (Neo-charlatan’s) v Market monetarists
  • Challenge the scientific validity of neoclassical economic models, methods, assumptions and their policies
  • Challenge the validity of Milton Friedman’s Economic theories, including his Free Market Hypothesis. (Also Keynes. And perhaps examine, compare, and contrast with that evil called “Marxism”)
  • Examine modern consumer theory, value theory, theory of productivity: Suggest alternative paradigms and their policies


Anyway. I have other things to do, quizzes to take, reading to finish. More thoughts later.

Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding: Hume’s Empiricism, Skepticism, and Naturalism

The whole premise of Hume’s An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding was to delineate the limits of human understanding and put a rest to metaphysical speculation by grounding philosophical reasoning in experience rather than pure reason. From the outset Hume’s preferred method of inquiry is scientific, based on observation and experimentation, rather than purely abstract reasoning. He posits that any fruitful beliefs about the world must be rooted in experience rather than wholly reflective theorizing.

I will begin by briefly summarizing Hume’s primary claims regarding his empiricism, skepticism, and naturalism and illustrate his emphasis on each of these in an effort to show that his philosophy is consistent and equally supports all three. I will ultimately conclude that his account of naturalism is the least developed of the three. This paper will then examine the methods and their accuracy that he employs in developing each of these. Continue reading “Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding: Hume’s Empiricism, Skepticism, and Naturalism”

Pragmatic Science Studies: Thoughts

All things are subject to interpretation; whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth.
-Friedrich Nietzsche

Examine the thesis: Science serves as a social utility that facilitates the economic and political power over a community.

Elucidate the utility of science from an individual and national level. Show how science and economy are reflexively compatible and serve as complimentary forms of power.

What are the pros of accepting science as truth? What are the cons? Can one accept external truths and retain freedom? Internal?

Continue reading “Pragmatic Science Studies: Thoughts”

Science as Logic of Discovery: Examining Kuhn’s Critique of Popper

This essay will examine and critique Thomas Kuhn’s thesis in his article titled Logic of Discovery or Psychology of Research. To accomplish this I will summarize Kuhn’s thesis, identify key critical arguments made against Karl Popper, analyze these arguments, and critically evaluate the argument with supporting examples. Each of Kuhn’s arguments will be stated clearly and analyzed so that the evidence in favor for or against Kuhn’s claims becomes clear and distinct. I will then present an argument in favor of Kuhn’s criticism on Popper.

Continue reading “Science as Logic of Discovery: Examining Kuhn’s Critique of Popper”

Thoughts on the Philosophy of Science

Recently I’ve read a variety of essays on the topic of philosophy and the natural sciences. Some of the philosophers I’ve read include Kuhn, Popper, Thagard, Lakatos, Ruse, and Lauden, to name a few. Some of the topics include the demarcation of science and non-science, and the criteria for pseudoscience. Subtopics include astrology, biorhythms, and creationism.
I just read an essay written by Michael Ruse titled Why Creation Science is Not Science. I wanted to expunge on some thoughts…

Michael Ruse carefully defends his position that creation-science is indeed, not a science. He centralizes his arguments against creationism around key philosophical principles that act foundationally to support his notion of real science. At the crux of his argument is empiricism, the basic tenant of science, whereby sense experience and observation of consistency and order ultimately yield understanding which scientists distill as laws through rigorous standards of criteria.

Continue reading “Thoughts on the Philosophy of Science”

Letter between friends: Regarding faith and science

First of all, I am open. As open as ever. I admit that my search has not ended, and will not end, as long as I am alive, and as long as I feverently aspire to reconcile belief and truth in my quest for knowledge and understanding. The more I know, the more I do not know- further confirming my duty to seek out understanding.

Anyone who is unwilling to shed biases, look beyond the ego, rise above the forces of conditioning, and continually start anew in the pursuit of truth is self-deceived, and unapologetically so. Also, before we begin discussing, just as you can pronounce the fault of youth and years of inexperience, so too can I pronounce the fault of age and the years of conditioning that only serve to further entrench beliefs (and leave men with the delusion that they are proficient enough in the art of their reason. But this satisfaction is limited to ones own ratiocination, and does not extend to other men).

You apply faith to the unknown (supernatural conceptions outside the sanctifications of observed reality, derived from inherited historical and cultural constructions) in exchange for an assurance that rescues from the angst of the unknown.

Continue reading “Letter between friends: Regarding faith and science”