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Author Topic: Economics - Science, Art, or Statistical Nonsense?  (Read 1267 times)
DAZ
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Economics - Science, Art, or Statistical Nonsense?
« on: September 18, 2008, 03:50:47 PM »

The past decade or so in the United States has brought my attention over and over again back to the subject of economics.

If you listen to the economics experts they trot out any time some crises starts, economics is a complicated subject requiring advanced mathematics to even begin to understand and that require that you never actually look at a trend or event but rather some derivative figure with a connection which is tenuous at best to the actual occurrence. This statistical nightmare leads to obfuscation of what's actually happening and lets whichever interested party is involved say whatever they like and back it up with "proof" regardless of what actually happened. This characterizes both Mainstream economics as well as Keynesian, Post-Keynesian, and Laussian schools. The only main differences are the terminology involved and the aims to which they aspire. These theories give specific mathematics proofs and evidence of events but are poor at predicting economic events and suffer from a large number of economists having inconsistent results from their studies.

The counterpoint are the rational schools who are trotted out less often because they have no complicated "expert" opinion to give. These school uses subjective logical models and definitive laws to define and predict economic behaviors. Their predictions are less specific but often more accurate given the conditions the specify.  The downside is that there are no proofs beyond the logical reasoning, which is more readily accepted by the abstract thinker but can frustrate those who want concrete data and proofs of why it worked that way. These methods appear most often in the Austrian and Chicago schools. So while more accurate at prediction than the mathematical schools, the rational schools lack the scientific demonstration of those schools which is regarded as a problem by mainstream economics and government planners.

My personal leanings are toward the rational schools because I'm more concerned with what's practical than being able to prove why something is true, the logical argument is enough for me. What's your take? Do you agree with one or the other or is it all just a bunch of crap?
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