A reasoned analysis that no one forecast the current financial debacle can be found here – http://www.debtdeflation.com/blogs/2009/07/15/no-one-saw-this-coming-balderdash/
My own analysis was never economic – I find the mainstream subject abhorrent and riddled with flaws. To me it’s a fetish a bit like fine arts and should be as irrelevant to daily life if you get no buzz from it. I’m disgusted by subjects hat assume some theoretical engine can dictate what we can do. I was aware, as a teacher, of the kinds of criticism in the link above – but my interests were and remain how elites manipulate ‘knowledge’. My working thesis is that this is done through schooling ignorance in the wide population and the manipulation of it through a nomenclature.
The size of this nomenclature has been roughly the same across ostensibly different forms of government across the globe. My guess from experience and what I’ve seen in literature is this is about 15% and the typical people are of the kind who could shop in the old GUM stores in the USSR. In method I can’t believe rational argumentation offer us much hope. I favour very radical empiricism. The result, intended or otherwise of all economics that becomes a theory-in-action distributes manufactured wealth in vast disproportion to the rich, and they will use very nasty measures to ensure this. Complex propaganda that any fool should be able to see through is successful in preventing the most obvious facts being used in argument. We lack, as a populace, the collective IQ of simple fools.
Most of us, in all research I’ve seen, want more equality in wealth and think there is much more than there really is. I too want to see more of this equality – but we also need to examine some of the reasons for keeping wealth from some people. I don’t want to hand over wealth to, say, quasi-Muslims who want to suppress women and anything that opposes them and might build armies to impose such on the rest of us. The role of our own armies cannot go unexamined either. The issue of bandits is left out of most ideas on creating a better world and it needs to be built-in.
We need to ‘see’ the important facts. We have had 70 years of universal education through schools in the West – and yet have come to the present calamity. I suspect the truth is that schools don’t work other than in ranking kids (later graduates) and socialising them to the wrong values (failing entirely with hoodlums). What we are doing is skilling incompetence in management at the level of the person and collective and teaching people how not to think other than for personal gratification. I say this wanting ‘more education’ to be available.
It’s hard to imagine that kids in Northwest England are much different from those in the southeast (or Bulgaria), yet the reality of them having a job is very different. The problem is less likely one of the ability of the kids or the education they get, than the broader economic context. Yet we let politicians drum on on education and training as so bloody important – they are – but in another sense. It’s the jobs that give the education and training. Most jobs require very little schooling, and most human abilities don’t lie in the conscious-analytic frame school qualifications focus on. And most work takes place in highly non-democratic settings.
My guess on what we need is a radical change in how we consider work and wealth distribution. Economics is little better than a religion and that’s been worked on by highly intelligent minds. One finds it taught as such even in places like Harvard (see http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2011/11/steve-keen-harvard-starts-its-own-paecon-against-mankiw.html) – a disgrace. What we need is something essentially simple and based in what people want to get working. The problem here is we have democracy nowhere and that democracy is, in any case, flawed (but fixable).
Does anyone really think Bill Gates and his ilk would not have done the work to produce operating systems and so on – or that someone else wouldn’t have – unless vast riches were available for doing so? The research evidence is against you if you do. Can you explain what special skills banksters have? The answer is none. They don’t even have the social skill not to nick most of our money! Economics is mostly based on people not doing what’s honest – this may get current human nature right, but doesn’t really match up to how we generally go about sorting this out. I suspect we are still basing economics in brigandage – and the subject is a neurotic rationalisation of this.
We need capital – but seem to have forgotten this is a means not an end. this is complicated by such personal reasoning – at the moment, for instance, I would send my grandson to a private school because his state school is inadequate for him – yet we could by now have created a situation where no parent would have to consider such (and have not). Capital is really the means though which we organise work and reward – but has become a fetish. Much as I enjoy the intellectual, it to has become fetish and we need a return to the simple.
Over the last 20 years in the UK our institutions like policing, the academy and all others I can think of have become politicised and standards have dropped across the board – this has not be a democratization but the use of gaming ploys very similar to crime statistics and the credulous league tables. ACPOs and their ilk have been easily bought ‘safe hands’ in a collapse of standards under impression management – again educated people acting in a highly corrupt manner in a farrago of web and kitsch like a jelly to grasp. Name me a few examples of whistle-blowing since the ‘whistle-blowers’ Act) that haven’t been shit on? And name me a few examples of things being put right rather than forever being promised to be put right? I can, incidentally, do this – but they are few.
The shock and horror of the mooting of a referendum in Greece (itself just a domestic ploy by a scoundrel) tells us all we need to know about our current ‘democratic condition’, as does the failure to enter dialogue with OccupyX. Where are those with control over the vast amount of our wealth, with suggestions of how to redeploy it to constructive, sustainable use and fairer outcomes? I think we should give them this chance – then shoot those who won’t. If they can’t innovate on this, did they ever really innovate at all or are they just modern pirates looting? If they tell us they can only innovate for money I suggest we make them eat the stuff for motivation, or decorate their walls with it. We’ve been fed their stuff and nonsense too long.
The need is for something mid-range like policing as a practical model in economics. Current models (of policing) are flawed, but they contain the kinds of problems with regulation needed in a fairer economics. I see no one looking.