Date: Oct 25, 2012 11:29 AM
Author: kirby urner
Subject: Re: Speachless In New York (or, another OMG moment)

On Wed, Oct 24, 2012 at 9:21 PM, Paul Tanner <> wrote:
> On Wed, Oct 24, 2012 at 11:27 PM, GS Chandy <> wrote:
>> I characterize economics as constituting the dismal > non-science nonpareil'

> Please do not let conservatism confuse you. What you say above applies
> to the nonsense of economic conservatism, but not real economic
> science, which is very mathematically based, something that economic
> conservatism utterly rejects, in part because true mathematically
> based economic science such conservative silliness such as government
> being evil and taxation and government spending as necessarily
> something that slows down economic growth.

I do not share your sanguine view of mathematically based economics,
nor do many economists, including many who use plenty of mathematics.

The best analyses do not involve money at all, given nature is not
using money except in the context of human language processing, a kind
of energy processing or metabolism.

Solar energy, photosynthesis, the breakdown of metabolites and the gas
exchange this entails -- these physical processes are the basis of our
ecosystem and the ecosystem *is* the economy.

Economics tends to buy into this idea of "currency" as some kind of
"magic juice" that should only be lent, not just given, because "money
doesn't grow on trees". But in fact it does, in the form of edible
metabolites fueled by solar energy and photosynthesis. The local star
makes for negentropy. That's just physics, no economics need apply.

> To see that what I'm saying is true, just actually look at the most
> successful economies in history when they were the most successful:
> The most prosperous times for the US including when its prosperity was
> spread out most evenly were when it most closely adhered to true
> mathematically based economic science, during the most liberal,
> progressive, pro-union, big-government years in US history, the
> generation after WWII. (The top tax brackets for both regular income
> and capital gains were in the neighborhood of 70% or higher then.)

I think it's shallow to attribute US prosperity in this era to its
close adherence to "mathematically based economic science". The US
was geographically removed from the devastation of Europe and Japan
and became an industrial powerhouse in a world of bombed cities.

What did result was this North American belief that the road to
prosperity is through weapons manufacture and sales. That's also how
to make friends and influence them.

The prime contractor irrigation system was set up under Truman through
Kennedy (and warned about by Eisenhower), a post-FDR socialism that
pumps funds through the Pentagon and through what is today the Beltway

That's why you have General Dynamics insisting on making more M1 tanks
even with a desert full of unused M1s. From a clinical standpoint,
it's psychosis, but from a political standpoint it's jobs jobs jobs.

Your nostalgia for post-WW2 "economics" is typical of USAers. The
movie 'Why We Fight' is useful anthropology in this regard, in tracing
the history of neoliberal Cold War militarism based on RAND style
analysis (lots of math, a veneer over ideology). The resulting
"realpolitik" typified by Nixon-Kissinger led to the USAs post-WW2
decline based on continued faulty analysis and a commitment to
militarism. That brings us pretty much up to date.


Message was edited by: kirby urner