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Are economists idiots or psychos?

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Are economists idiots or psychos?

Unread postby davep » Fri 03 Nov 2023, 14:10:01

It's hard to tell, but either way, mainstream economists are ignoring the dangers of climate change and resource depletion, or worse, using euphemisms to suggest pain in the global south will help GDP in temperate countries.

https://theintercept.com/2023/10/29/william-nordhaus-climate-economics/
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Re: Are economists idiots or psychos?

Unread postby Plantagenet » Fri 03 Nov 2023, 16:27:38

Nordhaus is at least as deserving of his nobel prize for publishing nonsense about the economics of climate change as Obama is for his nobel peace prize for creating unspecified peace in some unspecified place.

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Nordhaus claimed climate change wouldn't affect most of the economy because most workers don't work outdoors......and they gave him a Nobel prize for that kind of nonsense!!!

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Re: Are economists idiots or psychos?

Unread postby davep » Fri 03 Nov 2023, 17:10:29

Could you try keeping to the topic (grim as it is) rather than shoehorning a political pet hate in?
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Re: Are economists idiots or psychos?

Unread postby theluckycountry » Fri 03 Nov 2023, 20:27:07

They are neither. They are simply a product. Or more politely, a human resource.

Economics is a valuable tool for the establishment, that much is clear. It is the pseudoscience that explains, money basically, and gives credibility to all manner of insane activity. Like that which led up to the GFC and the IT bubble before it. After the blowups the smart young economists disappear for a while and are replaced by octogenarians who shake their heads and say "We went too far, we were too exuberant". This sheds the blame and when the dust settles they disappear and the young ones are back as mouthpieces explaining how they have fixed the system and all is well. Meanwhile living standards drop and drop, decade after decade.

Economics' teaching bodies are well controlled, the same as modern medical schools are, and if an economist, or a doctor, steps outside the mainstream training they are typically burnt at the stake. You can read these alternate economists but they are relegated to the fringe of the internets, they are never allowed on TV, never allowed into government or corporate positions. It's clear who funds the entrainment of the doctors, you only have to look at any university and you'll find a large pharmacological facility, funded by big Pharma, where the doctors will be trained in the aspects of drug peddling. Economists don't need this level of input but it's clear to them where the good jobs lie. In not rocking the boat.

In aggregate I would say that the economists in control of policy are more like politicians now, they prognosticate (like election promises) and then take no responsibility for their failures. Unlike politicians though they are all of the one party, all believe in the same underlying Keynesian branch of economics because that is all they are taught. Business schools are no better. What are they taught? That big spending by government and business is the solution, that privately controlled central banks should regulate money creation and currency flow not governments.

Their failure is easily exposed by simply looking back in time before the Keynesian central bank era. In the US for instance you had 100 years of mild deflation (due to innovations) and the currency got stronger and stronger as the economy slowly grew. That was Austrian economics at work. But it's too late to go back now. At least on a non-personal basis.
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Re: Are economists idiots or psychos?

Unread postby Pops » Fri 03 Nov 2023, 21:48:31

I read a bit of the article and to my eye the author seems to be downplaying effects. Right now people are moving from Florida because home insurance has become unaffordable, ditto in the Sierra because of wildfires. Insurance losses are 50% above the 10 year average. Just a couple of examples and that's at 1ºC rise.

But it's hard to pass judgment on economic theories because so much of what they project seems either tailored to (or co-opted by) a subjective belief rather than any objective analysis. House reps want to cut enforcement budget of the IRS to "save" money but the CBO says the net will be a negative to the budget because more tax cheats will get away with cheating and pay less tax. I guarantee that whatever anyone thinks about that economic modeling will define their politics. Just as what a person "believes" about GW will define how they interprit the author's model

I'm not a math guy, in fact I'm suspicious of black box models and blackboards full of gibberish. "Data" is the current grail, "mining" it to produce models of whatever is how much of modern business earns money. I got a kick out of Hubble seeing stars that it shouldn't see considering the Big Bang model. Messing with the whold "dark matter is 80% of everything... this equasion proves it! ... We just don't know where its hiding..."

Some things are too complex to model even if one is trying to be objective. As Rummy said: you don't know what you don't know.
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Re: Are economists idiots or psychos?

Unread postby careinke » Fri 03 Nov 2023, 22:37:28

theluckycountry wrote:They are neither. They are simply a product. Or more politely, a human resource.

Economics is a valuable tool for the establishment, that much is clear. It is the pseudoscience that explains, money basically, and gives credibility to all manner of insane activity. Like that which led up to the GFC and the IT bubble before it. After the blowups the smart young economists disappear for a while and are replaced by octogenarians who shake their heads and say "We went too far, we were too exuberant". This sheds the blame and when the dust settles they disappear and the young ones are back as mouthpieces explaining how they have fixed the system and all is well. Meanwhile living standards drop and drop, decade after decade.

Economics' teaching bodies are well controlled, the same as modern medical schools are, and if an economist, or a doctor, steps outside the mainstream training they are typically burnt at the stake. You can read these alternate economists but they are relegated to the fringe of the internets, they are never allowed on TV, never allowed into government or corporate positions. It's clear who funds the entrainment of the doctors, you only have to look at any university and you'll find a large pharmacological facility, funded by big Pharma, where the doctors will be trained in the aspects of drug peddling. Economists don't need this level of input but it's clear to them where the good jobs lie. In not rocking the boat.

In aggregate I would say that the economists in control of policy are more like politicians now, they prognosticate (like election promises) and then take no responsibility for their failures. Unlike politicians though they are all of the one party, all believe in the same underlying Keynesian branch of economics because that is all they are taught. Business schools are no better. What are they taught? That big spending by government and business is the solution, that privately controlled central banks should regulate money creation and currency flow not governments.

Their failure is easily exposed by simply looking back in time before the Keynesian central bank era. In the US for instance you had 100 years of mild deflation (due to innovations) and the currency got stronger and stronger as the economy slowly grew. That was Austrian economics at work. But it's too late to go back now. At least on a non-personal basis.


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Nice piece and well said!!

Not to take anything away from your piece, but I think things are a little brighter than you might think. The upcoming depression/collapse should help speed things along.

Today, pretty much everyone, can learn anything with no restrictions. The information is very hard to censor, and if it is, other means spring up to work around it.

The news media, government, WHO, politicians, and present monetary systems have all been exposed and the proles have a very low opinion of them.

We now have the technology to basically walk away from the system without overt violence. Yes we still have to give Caesar what is Caesar's so we don't get killed (they have bigger guns). You don't NEED to live IN the system, but you can certainly live along side of it.

Of course there are a myriad of excuses, but that's all they are, excuses. Willingly giving up your personal sovereignty by passing the blame onto some nebulas they. Take responsibility for yourself and let others do the same.

Your claim about censorship is also being overcome, thanks to technology, especially through the "fringe of the Internet." Disruptive technology is hastening the downfall of empires, and always starts out on the fringe.

I could go on but the point of this post was to congratulate you on yours.

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Re: Are economists idiots or psychos?

Unread postby theluckycountry » Sat 04 Nov 2023, 02:47:15

True, the social media platforms, especially X now, are breeding grounds for anti-establishment thought. I watched a vid yesterday by this IT guy and he said that Google, though it still has the most revenue and hits, 95% of the search engine traffic, is outdated and the search returns are generally useless. Well I agree with that! And most of the others are no better because the algorithms they use to troll the web have been reverse engineered by companies that specialize in getting a companies page to rank high.

What they can't do though (google et al) is effectively penetrate the likes of X or reddit because those platforms have fences around them. Therefore there is a universe of news, comment and opinion that those using conventional search engines miss out on.

As an example, type "peak oil" into google.com and into reddit.com and compare the results. They are quite stark in their difference and I would suggest the reddit ones are more valuable for a beginner and even an old hand at the subject. Have a look for yourself.

Or try something practical "getting stains out of carpet" Yeah, I know. Reddit is full of morons, but the goods are there, just filter out the morons and concentrate on the answers.
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Re: Are economists idiots or psychos?

Unread postby jedrider » Mon 06 Nov 2023, 13:19:21

The wealth accumulating class basically justified what they do by having this professional class, economists, verify their wealth accumulation, and then we have an idiot class of politicians beholden to this wealth class, and they got it covered at that point.
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Re: Are economists idiots or psychos?

Unread postby theluckycountry » Tue 07 Nov 2023, 21:19:53

jedrider wrote:The wealth accumulating class basically justified what they do by having this professional class, economists, verify their wealth accumulation, and then we have an idiot class of politicians beholden to this wealth class, and they got it covered at that point.


Exactly! Once you have figured that out it becomes easy to sidestep the system and protect your future to some extent.
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Re: Are economists idiots or psychos?

Unread postby jedrider » Wed 08 Nov 2023, 15:56:30

theluckycountry wrote:
jedrider wrote:The wealth accumulating class basically justified what they do by having this professional class, economists, verify their wealth accumulation, and then we have an idiot class of politicians beholden to this wealth class, and they got it covered at that point.


Exactly! Once you have figured that out it becomes easy to sidestep the system and protect your future to some extent.


Replace 'verify' by 'validate', of course.
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Re: Are economists idiots or psychos?

Unread postby jedrider » Wed 08 Nov 2023, 16:00:44

davep wrote:It's hard to tell, but either way, mainstream economists are ignoring the dangers of climate change and resource depletion, or worse, using euphemisms to suggest pain in the global south will help GDP in temperate countries.

https://theintercept.com/2023/10/29/william-nordhaus-climate-economics/


Last I heard, economists, basically, 'work' for a living, i.e., have their salary paid for by somebody else.
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Re: Are economists idiots or psychos?

Unread postby theluckycountry » Thu 14 Dec 2023, 20:14:10

Economists are the front men for money, they are the ones who manipulate the numbers and create the language commonly used in the mass media that portrays images of "all is well with the economy" or "We have this under control".

I was listening to a pod from UnwelcomeGuests the other day and the speaker made the point that "The Economy" is just an abstract concept, you can't 'touch' the economy, you can't use it like a real tangible thing, yet The Economy is treated as though it were such. Businesses do badly because of 'the economy' Wages will increase because 'the economy' will do such and such.

They have created this overarching "Economy" concept that controls our destiny, the politicians and bankers etc powerless to prevent the disasters it creates. In the real world though the economy is just the sum total of the outcomes resulting from the decisions made by politicians bankers and corporate leaders, all of whom are of course simply acting to enrich themselves.

Inflation - A Misnomer
“Misnomers often arise because something was named long before its correct nature was known, or because an earlier form of something has been replaced by a later form to which the name no longer suitably applies.”

One could not find a better example to a misnomer nowadays than what most economists call “inflation”. Contrary to what the term implies (that is, an increase in prices), it is in effect a reduction in purchasing power. This means that the same money buys less bread, cheese or gasoline etc. than last year. Chances are that, as a result, you had to make some tough choices, postponing the buying of a new car, or even presents for Christmas. Some people were even forced to decide between heating and eating. Losing purchasing power is a very serious matter — no wonder that it is not widely used in government communiques.

Another important fact about “inflation” is how under-reported it is. Items can be added and removed, and their weight in the consumer basket adjusted at will to show an artificially lower number than what people experience. This not only serves to calm the public and investors by sending the message that things are not nearly as bad as they seem, but to show an increase in consumption and thus in GDP growth. Take groceries, for example. If your shopping bill goes up by 30% but only 10% is reported as inflation, then the remaining 20% increase in money spent on food can be attributed to growth. Should overall consumption (in real terms) fall as a result of this extraordinary price hike by say 10%, the government could still see an “economic” growth of 10%, despite all metrics indicating that the contrary is true. This is how the economy could be growing while average folks just get poorer and poorer. Is it any wonder that nobody talks about falling purchasing power, only economic growth?

Now, what is the usual answer from central banks to this issue misnamed “inflation”? Raising interest rates, resulting in a rise in the cost of credit. After paying mortgage and credit card fees, though, this leaves one with even less money in their pocket; directly resulting in a further reduction of the amount of goods and services one can buy. The same goes for companies investing in new production lines, solar panels or anything substantial requiring a loan. Now, all these purchases have to be postponed or cancelled in order to finance existing operations.

Seen in this light one can easily spot the logical fallacy here: central banks are fighting the reduction of purchasing power by further reducing the purchasing power of companies and average folks alike. Makes no sense? Well, according to our wise betters and elders, we must all reduce the consumption of goods and services — and thereby lower demand — so that suppliers finally lose their appetite for further price increases. Lower consumption begets lower economic output though — and lower investments all across the board — resulting in an economic slump. In a nutshell central banks are busy engineering a mini-recession to push “inflation” back under a certain limit.
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Re: Are economists idiots or psychos?

Unread postby theluckycountry » Tue 19 Dec 2023, 17:55:58

What Happens When the Economy Can No Longer Grow?

What is the goal of the economy? Growth? Full employment? Equity? Price stability? Security? Or, perhaps, to make the top 1% super rich at the cost of everyone else? Well, if it’s that latter, than the economy is doing a stellar job. If you think that’s too cynical to say, then you can chose two on the list above. Or one. Maybe none. With a relentless fall in people’s purchasing power, an energy infrastructure hitting diminishing returns, and being led by less than stellar minds, I argue, there will be just one overarching goal remaining. Security. The rest be damned.

We are heading into quite “interesting” times on the back of a lurking transportation fuel shortage. Lacking a viable solution to the question of long distance transport, or doing agriculture and mining without fossil fuels, the coming decline of carbon based energy will mean a further decline in living standards. All this happens amidst an unfolding ecological destruction brought about by humanity in overshoot. It looks pretty much guaranteed that sooner or later we will all experience severe disruptions and shortages. Water. Heating fuel. Food. Electricity.

Since it is our ruling elite, whether democratically elected or not, to whom we turn for solutions in such tumultuous times, we must now examine their role in the long emergency we are all in...
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Re: Are economists idiots or psychos?

Unread postby ralfy » Tue 19 Dec 2023, 20:51:19

They can only ignore both because the primary tool that they use to measure what they're studying is money, and it's part of capitalist systems which require continuous growth in terms of credit.
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Re: Are economists idiots or psychos?

Unread postby careinke » Wed 20 Dec 2023, 03:44:10

ralfy wrote:They can only ignore both because the primary tool that they use to measure what they're studying is money, and it's part of capitalist systems which require continuous growth in terms of credit.


Capitalism does NOT require continuous growth in terms of credit. It does require continuous growth in terms of energy. Fortunately, energy is abundant everywhere in the universe, including earth, we just have to keep improving our collection methods.

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Re: Are economists idiots or psychos?

Unread postby theluckycountry » Wed 20 Dec 2023, 04:46:38

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Re: Are economists idiots or psychos?

Unread postby theluckycountry » Wed 20 Dec 2023, 04:53:30

ralfy wrote:They can only ignore both because the primary tool that they use to measure what they're studying is money, and it's part of capitalist systems which require continuous growth in terms of credit.


If we can figure it out, they can figure it out. They are feathering their nests for the Long Decent, buying islands, vast farms in South American nations, stockpiling gold no doubt. So what if the West collapses, the BRICS will still be doing ok and gold and land will always be valuable. They will just move away from the Hell holes.
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Re: Are economists idiots or psychos?

Unread postby ralfy » Wed 20 Dec 2023, 19:41:59

careinke wrote:
ralfy wrote:They can only ignore both because the primary tool that they use to measure what they're studying is money, and it's part of capitalist systems which require continuous growth in terms of credit.


Capitalism does NOT require continuous growth in terms of credit. It does require continuous growth in terms of energy. Fortunately, energy is abundant everywhere in the universe, including earth, we just have to keep improving our collection methods.

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That's another world. In this one, it requires credit.
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Re: Are economists idiots or psychos?

Unread postby ralfy » Wed 20 Dec 2023, 19:46:39

theluckycountry wrote:
If we can figure it out, they can figure it out. They are feathering their nests for the Long Decent, buying islands, vast farms in South American nations, stockpiling gold no doubt. So what if the West collapses, the BRICS will still be doing ok and gold and land will always be valuable. They will just move away from the Hell holes.


The closest I can think of to what's desired are fields like environmental and ecological economics, which uses things like determining natural capital or, if money is used as part of measurement, give a price to environmental damage, and then come up with a cost-benefit analysis.
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Re: Are economists idiots or psychos?

Unread postby theluckycountry » Wed 20 Dec 2023, 21:19:10

ralfy wrote:
theluckycountry wrote:
If we can figure it out, they can figure it out. They are feathering their nests for the Long Decent, buying islands, vast farms ...


The closest I can think of to what's desired are fields like environmental and ecological economics, which uses things like determining natural capital or, if money is used as part of measurement, give a price to environmental damage, and then come up with a cost-benefit analysis.


Yes, that is the obvious path to take, and something similar was spelled out by Richard Heinberg in a book dedicated to the issue back in the 00's. But you or I or Heinberg don't control, are not on the inside. Here is an insider's response to the issue.

Inside Mark Zuckerberg’s Top-Secret Hawaii Compound

Zuckerberg is building a sprawling, $100 million compound in Hawaii—complete with plans for a huge underground bunker. A WIRED investigation reveals the true scale of the project—and its impact on the local community.

Off the two-lane highway that winds along the northeast side of the Hawaiian island of Kauai, on a quiet stretch of ranchland between the tourist hubs of Kapaa and Hanalei, an enormous, secret construction project is underway.

A 6-foot wall blocks the view from a nearby road fronting the project, where cars slow to try to catch a glimpse of what’s behind it. Security guards stand watch at an entrance gate and patrol the surrounding beaches on ATVs. Pickup trucks roll in and out, hauling building materials and transporting hundreds of workers. Nobody working on this project is allowed to talk about what they’re building. Almost anyone who passes compound security—from carpenters to electricians to painters to security guards—is bound by a strict nondisclosure agreement.

Interviews with several people associated with the project, along with public records and court documents seen by WIRED, suggest that since then, the planning and construction of the roughly 1,400-acre compound has been shrouded in secrecy. The property, known as Koolau Ranch, will, according to planning documents, include a 5,000-square-foot underground shelter, have its own energy and food supplies, and, when coupled with land purchase prices, will cost in excess of $270 million.

According to evidence reviewed by WIRED, the project has relied on legal maneuvering and political networking, and at times, sources believe, it has shown disregard for the local public. All the while, Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan continue to build one of the most expensive properties in the world.

With NDAs forbidding workers from discussing the project, the secluded North Shore compound has gained a mythic status on Kauai. One local architect unaffiliated with the Zuckerberg project jokes that it reminds him of medieval rulers who, according to legend, killed the architects of their most ambitious projects so the secrets of their designs would die with them.

...Many people speculate that the site will become some sort of postapocalyptic bunker in case of civilization collapse. What’s being built doesn’t live up to the coconut wireless chatter, but it’s close. Detailed planning documents obtained by WIRED through a series of public record requests show the makings of an opulent techno-Xanadu, complete with underground shelter and what appears to be a blast-resistant door...
https://www.wired.com/story/mark-zucker ... popular4-1

It's a long winded piece and as I am not a celebrity whore I find little interest in it than the obvious fact that it's simply one example of what the 1% think of us rank and file citizens (consumers) You will never get justice from the ruling class, just servitude and exploitation, then you and your home will be flipped off once it's been drained of resources.

Yet the web is still full of 'hopeful' plans and dreams of how people can take control of their nation for the betterment of all? It has never happened in the history of mankind and it isn't about to start happening now. My advice to anyone, copy these people, these 1%. Set up your own little paradise in some area you calculate will be safe and hunker down for the obvious storm that is coming. I doubt Zuckerberg is building that remote facility just so he can go fishing or surfing. When the rug is pulled, financially, he'll be on his private jet, never to be seen again.
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