Tomorrow We Dance To Freedom

Economics Requires Deep Unconstrained Thought

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With the approach of winter, today was a quiet day with very little 'intellectual' activity by the neoclassical Laissez-faire economic shamans attempting to prop up their failed economic theories. Capitulation is everywhere, very few hardcore supply-side fundamentalists are being allowed through the gates of the corporate dominated media machine. It becomes more evident with every passing day that their theories centered on faith-based insights into classical economic precepts are nothing more than bunk. Mixed with a little 'bloodletting' to restore the human soul, the restorative powers of some magical ointment, and finally a few shakes of the precious shaman's rattle and all is not well - the economic patient is still dying.

A few impressionable years ago I was in awe at these mystical experts who could seemingly predict the financial future of every living mortal by shifting this or that demand or supply curve. Over time my world has shifted across many plateaus, fallen precipitately into deep canyons, and has risen to ponderous heights. Now at the age of 49 it occurs to me that if you lay out enough rotting meat you're guaranteed of attracting flies. Case in point, the napkin derived supply-side neoclassical school of economic thought that attracted the conventional, comfortable, and intellectually weak from their dark corners to apply story book mathematically derived illusion.

All the more enlightened Economists were forced into hiding by these simple minded idiots bent upon conveying our complex world in terms only they could understand - a kind of goofball comprehension. What these simpletons failed to realize is nothing so complex as what was aptly termed "Political Economy" can be predicted by inflexible constraint ridden equations that don't inject unpredictable, irrational, indeterminate human behavior within a societal context into a cauldron of human activity. Thorsten Veblen was one of the first "Political Economics" to fully understand that Economics is truly a multidisciplinary study best suited to Sociology or Psychology than a mathematically based hard science.

All the intangibles in life that our production oriented educational system ignores in an attempt to produce an ever increasing supply of 'cookie cutter' box thinkers can no longer be neglected on a globe of ever increasing human interactions. Wisdom is not packaged in a pretty neat little box but is messy with books strewn across desks, notes scribbled (sometimes incoherently), and ideas rushing forth only through the application of continuous study. Therefore solutions surely don't 'jump out' from an elegantly crafted mathematical representation of one's imagined reality, but involve analysis of history, human interaction, and 'ground truth' insights all blended into a societal structure that suffers from indeterminate perturbations.

There are two tests that validate a social theories' ability to improve the human condition. Is it fair and achievable? Why should fairness enter into the mix? Simply put if the majority of people feel that something isn't fair it is doomed to failure, therefore it is unsustainable over the long-term and will suffer from bouts of instability. The second of the tests, being whether an applied social theory is achievable, is integrally tied to the first.

Our physical world exists within well-defined laws calculable by mathematics but to transpose this concept of reality into the highly fungible dynamics of incalculable daily human interactions within a complex society system is ludicrous. The best we can attempt to understand will always be subjected to interpretation based upon the historical insight that underlies our understanding. Therefore our understanding of complex human interactions (including Political Economy) is constantly evolving from new information in what seems to be a universal construct - the feedback loop. So in effect stasis is truly the enemy of continued enlightenment.