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Modern economics

Any topic related to science can be discussed here.
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Nick
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Joined: July 4th, 2007, 10:10 am

Re: Modern economics

#1381 Post by Nick » June 16th, 2015, 9:43 pm

Latest post of the previous page:

...which it doesn't. :sad2:

It's as daft as saying "Physics says we know what absolute zero is, but it's useless because my air conditioning doesn't work."

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Alan H
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Re: Modern economics

#1382 Post by Alan H » June 16th, 2015, 10:36 pm

Nick wrote:...which it doesn't. :sad2:

It's as daft as saying "Physics says we know what absolute zero is, but it's useless because my air conditioning doesn't work."
:laughter:
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

thundril
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Re: Modern economics

#1383 Post by thundril » August 14th, 2015, 5:19 pm


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Alan H
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Re: Modern economics

#1384 Post by Alan H » August 14th, 2015, 6:11 pm

:pointlaugh:
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

Nick
Posts: 11027
Joined: July 4th, 2007, 10:10 am

Re: Modern economics

#1385 Post by Nick » August 15th, 2015, 6:35 pm

This really happened
Except, of course, that it didn't. :sad2:

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Alan H
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Re: Modern economics

#1386 Post by Alan H » October 11th, 2015, 11:39 pm

Don’t let the Nobel prize fool you. Economics is not a science
Seven years ago this autumn, practically the entire mainstream economics profession was caught off guard by the global financial crash and the “worst panic since the 1930s” that followed. And yet on Monday the glorification of economics as a scientific field on a par with physics, chemistry and medicine will continue.

The problem is not so much that there is a Nobel prize in economics, but that there are no equivalent prizes in psychology, sociology, anthropology. Economics, this seems to say, is not a social science but an exact one, like physics or chemistry – a distinction that not only encourages hubris among economists but also changes the way we think about the economy.

A Nobel prize in economics implies that the human world operates much like the physical world: that it can be described and understood in neutral terms, and that it lends itself to modelling, like chemical reactions or the movement of the stars. It creates the impression that economists are not in the business of constructing inherently imperfect theories, but of discovering timeless truths.
All those banks have “structured products approval committees”, where a team of banking staff sits down to decide whether their bank should adopt a particular new complex financial product. If economics were a social science like sociology or anthropology, practitioners would set about interviewing those committee members, scrutinising the meetings’ minutes and trying to observe as many meetings as possible. That is how the kind of fieldwork-based, “qualitative” social sciences, which economists like to discard as “soft” and unscientific, operate. It is true that this approach, too, comes with serious methodological caveats, such as verifiability, selection bias or observer bias. The difference is that other social sciences are open about these limitations, arguing that, while human knowledge about humans is fundamentally different from human knowledge about the natural world, those imperfect observations are extremely important to make.

Compare that humility to that of former central banker Alan Greenspan, one of the architects of the deregulation of finance, and a great believer in models. After the crash hit, Greenspan appeared before a congressional committee in the US to explain himself. “I made a mistake in presuming that the self-interests of organisations, specifically banks and others, were such that they were best capable of protecting their own shareholders and their equity in the firms,” said the man whom fellow economists used to celebrate as “the maestro”.

In other words, Greenspan had been unable to imagine that bankers would run their own bank into the ground. Had the maestro read the tiny pile of books by financial anthropologists he may have found it easier to imagine such behaviour. Then he would have known that over past decades banks had adopted a “zero job security” hire-and-fire culture, breeding a “zero-loyalty” mentality that can be summarised as: “If you can be out of the door in five minutes, your horizon becomes five minutes.”
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

thundril
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Re: Modern economics

#1387 Post by thundril » October 12th, 2015, 1:52 am

Thanks Alan. Interesting read.

lewist
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Re: Modern economics

#1388 Post by lewist » October 12th, 2015, 8:57 am

As a volunteer in Grantown Museum, I meet all sorts of interesting people. Back in July, some Dutch people came in. An elderly gentleman was with his two daughters, who were taking him on a tour of Scotland to discover their Scots ancestral connections.

He was in his early eighties and while the daughters were in the art gallery, we got talking. He was, it turned out, a retired professor of economics. He had one thing he wanted me to know about economics.

"Don't let anyone tell you economics is a science", he said. "Economics is not a science."

I thought I'd throw that one in.
Carpe diem. Savour every moment.

Nick
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Re: Modern economics

#1389 Post by Nick » October 13th, 2015, 9:02 am

[quote="Alan H"]Don’t let the Nobel prize fool you. Economics is not a science[quote]Twaddle. As we would expect from the Grauniad. He complains about looking at the perspective of economists and then talks about "Swimming With Sharks"! So we can surely ignore his remarks as having any objective validity, can't we?

There's also a Nobel Prize for Literature and Peace. You think they are sciences? For centuries, science got things wrong. That was no reason to abandon science.

And the conclusions about Greenspan are wrong too (just like the rest of the article). I just can't be bothered to try to explain to an audience who don't want to listen.

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Alan H
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Re: Modern economics

#1390 Post by Alan H » October 13th, 2015, 10:24 am

Nick wrote:
Alan H wrote:Don’t let the Nobel prize fool you. Economics is not a science
Twaddle. As we would expect from the Grauniad. He complains about looking at the perspective of economists and then talks about "Swimming With Sharks"! So we can surely ignore his remarks as having any objective validity, can't we?

There's also a Nobel Prize for Literature and Peace. You think they are sciences? For centuries, science got things wrong. That was no reason to abandon science.

And the conclusions about Greenspan are wrong too (just like the rest of the article). I just can't be bothered to try to explain to an audience who don't want to listen.
LOL!
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Dave B
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Re: Modern economics

#1391 Post by Dave B » October 13th, 2015, 1:56 pm

I am sure economics has fancy formulas for working out that history happened, and also for estimating future growth or whatever. Note estimating because some nervous Nellie of a treasury minister or fractious share dealer might just upset the apple cart. One scaredy cat or greedy git can start a landslide.

Bit like evolution, we have a working theory about what happened, we know, roughly, what is - the future is all guess work. Climate change could offer many paths.

There used to be a theory about who would own what share of the global wealth in 2050, but I wonder how accurate that is now with China's current economic problems. Economists can only offer alternative possible futures for alternative possible paths. The rest depends partly on the whims, of you, me, a bunch of fat cats who want to be fatter and changes, mostly unpredictable, in the climate causing gross changes in the human style of life.

That ain't science!
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

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anaconda
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Re: Modern economics

#1392 Post by anaconda » October 15th, 2015, 4:22 pm

Noam Chomsky covers a range of related themes - . He's clear and informative on the influence of banks and U.S/ European foreign policy which he sees as creating both a security and economic risk.

John

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anaconda
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Re: Modern economics

#1393 Post by anaconda » October 15th, 2015, 4:25 pm

....apologies for the link error, it's only here that I seem to have these problems.........honest guv!

It's well worth a view, if via cut and paste though.
John

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Alan H
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Re: Modern economics

#1394 Post by Alan H » October 15th, 2015, 5:10 pm

anaconda wrote:....apologies for the link error, it's only here that I seem to have these problems.........honest guv!

It's well worth a view, if via cut and paste though.
Fixed it: all the youtube tag needs is the video ID (the bit after v= in the url), not the whole url.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Dave B
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Re: Modern economics

#1395 Post by Dave B » October 15th, 2015, 5:46 pm

Not sure I agree with all he has said, but his comments about Irael and the US struck resonances with me.

When did Chomsky become a "political theorist", would say he tends more towards the philosophical side, but, thin line between I suppose.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

Nick
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Re: Modern economics

#1396 Post by Nick » October 15th, 2015, 9:40 pm

Alan H wrote:LOL!
Meh.

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animist
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Re: Modern economics

#1397 Post by animist » October 15th, 2015, 9:50 pm

Dave B wrote:Not sure I agree with all he has said, but his comments about Irael and the US struck resonances with me.

When did Chomsky become a "political theorist", would say he tends more towards the philosophical side, but, thin line between I suppose.
Dave, for one thing, political theory is a branch of philosophy, and also, Chomsky was criticising US policy back in the bad old days of the Vietnam War

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anaconda
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Re: Modern economics

#1398 Post by anaconda » October 16th, 2015, 8:25 pm

Alan H wrote:
anaconda wrote:....apologies for the link error, it's only here that I seem to have these problems.........honest guv!

It's well worth a view, if via cut and paste though.
Fixed it: all the youtube tag needs is the video ID (the bit after v= in the url), not the whole url.

Thanks Alan.

His comments regarding the origins of Greek debt were news to me.
John

jdc
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Re: Modern economics

#1399 Post by jdc » October 26th, 2015, 1:41 am

lewist wrote:As a volunteer in Grantown Museum, I meet all sorts of interesting people. Back in July, some Dutch people came in. An elderly gentleman was with his two daughters, who were taking him on a tour of Scotland to discover their Scots ancestral connections.

He was in his early eighties and while the daughters were in the art gallery, we got talking. He was, it turned out, a retired professor of economics. He had one thing he wanted me to know about economics.

"Don't let anyone tell you economics is a science", he said. "Economics is not a science."

I thought I'd throw that one in.
Here's something from a Professor of Economics: Yes, Economics Is a Science

I guess that cancels out your anecdote. :wink:
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Email: 325jdc325 (at) googlemail.com

jdc
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Re: Modern economics

#1400 Post by jdc » October 26th, 2015, 1:45 am

Nick wrote:I just can't be bothered to try to explain to an audience who don't want to listen.
I'm not entirely convinced that economics is a science, but I'm open to persuasion.
My Blog; Twitter.
Email: 325jdc325 (at) googlemail.com

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Dave B
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Re: Modern economics

#1401 Post by Dave B » October 26th, 2015, 7:47 am

animist wrote:
Dave B wrote:Not sure I agree with all he has said, but his comments about Irael and the US struck resonances with me.

When did Chomsky become a "political theorist", would say he tends more towards the philosophical side, but, thin line between I suppose.
Dave, for one thing, political theory is a branch of philosophy, and also, Chomsky was criticising US policy back in the bad old days of the Vietnam War
Just call me a victim of my own selective reading!

Can't disagree with him on America policy.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

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