“We are living in a dark age of economic understanding”

John Papola – the producer of the Keynes-Hayek Rap – has posted a further article on Say’s Law at the PBS website. You should read the lot, but this at the start gets right to the heart of the matter:

Ironically, none of the foundational greats in the history of economic thought could get into Harvard University’s Ph.D. economics program today.

This is not because of radical advances in our understanding of economics. To paraphrase Milton Friedman, we have only advanced one step beyond David Hume in our understanding of economics. Rather than advance real understanding, the economics profession, bewitched by a century-long envy of the physical sciences, has collapsed into an esoteric and pointlessly hyper-mathematized maze of confusion. The result is an economic mainstream so disconnected from reality that we must resurrect 1800s debates over whether consumption, which by definition uses up our wealth, can somehow increase society’s supply of wealth as a result.

We are living in a dark age of economic understanding.

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