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Poor teaching of econ

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Mark-T

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Aug 23, 2007, 2:57:17 AM8/23/07
to
There was an article in the August 12 NY Times,
to the effect that "the dismal science is dismally
taught".

In one study, college students who passed Econ
101 were tested again 6 months after the final.
Result: they did no better than those who never
took the course. That may astonish some, but
from my observations, personally and watching
the talking heads on teevee, it's more
confirmation than shock.

The writer went on to claim the problem is 'too
much math'; as a result, students fail to learn
the fundamental concepts. He advocates a
new curriculum, based on case studies and
essays, as more effective.

Thoughts? Has anyone tried this?

Mark

S.W.Christensen

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Aug 23, 2007, 3:14:56 AM8/23/07
to


Once upon a time the economics profession knew that the economy is a
consequence of the actions of individual human beings; it was also
realised that such a problem was mathematically intractable (this was
long before computers got on stage). Therefore nobody bothered about
mathematics in economics; instead all focus was on understanding the
principles that guide economic processes.

Some time later a lot of economists decided that they WOULD force
mathematics into economics, whether it was tractable or not. Their
solution was to assume that the economy behaves as system governed by
mathematical equations prescribed from above (i.e. they gave up on the
idea that the economy is a consequence of the actions of individual
human beings). Since then they have been happily fiddling with
differential equations to their hearts delight; and this to the extent
that they have almost completely forgotten about the fundamental
principles ruling economic processes.

Personally, I think the only kind of mathematics that really belongs
in economics is non-linear dynamics, because this is a mathematical
representation of economic reality, whereas the differential equations
are not.

That aside, the answer is: once, the only thing economics students
learned WERE the fundamental principles, and I believe that would
work marvelously again.

Best regards,

Stefan W. Christensen

William Elliot

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Aug 23, 2007, 5:18:30 AM8/23/07
to

Because of them, and the politicians who encourage them, the integeral of
the American economy around the pole of debt is tens of trillion$.

> That aside, the answer is: once, the only thing economics students
> learned WERE the fundamental principles, and I believe that would
> work marvelously again.
>

It's too damn hard for corruption politicians and capitialists to kick
their o-pi-um habit. (OPM = Other Peoples' Money)

Lantern

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Aug 23, 2007, 4:21:40 PM8/23/07
to

> ... a new curriculum, based on case studies and
> essays, as more effective.>

One of the first things we must do to improve economics education is
stop the crime of calling credit "money". For example, use of term
"monetary supply". There is a huge difference between currency supply
and credit supply. Credit is not currency. Currency is not credit.
Money is is a word tnat only cofuses things. This must be fixed at all
levels, especially the education level. This will help with the
mathematics problem such as good usage of the english language and
logic. Good post, thanks.

ro...@telus.net

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Aug 23, 2007, 4:23:29 PM8/23/07
to
On Wed, 22 Aug 2007 23:57:17 -0700, Mark-T <MarkTa...@gmail.com>
wrote:

Economics is not like other sciences. Other sciences consist of
mostly cooperative international efforts to increase understanding of
the natural world for the benefit of all. Economics is unique among
sciences in that illumination of its subject matter is NOT to the
benefit of all. It is inconvenient to the financial interests of the
wealthy and powerful. The principal function of economics is
therefore to obscure it.

The cooperative international effort in economic science is
consequently not to increase understanding but to prevent it, by dint
of a confused welter of mostly ill-defined technical terms for
fabricated concepts; a massive edifice of algebraic expressions
purporting to describe phenomena that often cannot even be observed,
let alone quantified; and a narrow focus on mathematical proofs of
untestable hypotheses.

"The purpose of studying economics is not to acquire a set of
ready-made answers to economic questions, but to learn how to avoid
being deceived by economists." -- Joan Robinson

Economics would more accurately be termed the deceitful science, not
the dismal one, and the absence of any measurable increase in
economics students' understanding is not a failure of economics
instruction at all, but its intended result.

-- Roy L

Message has been deleted

anon

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Aug 23, 2007, 8:55:01 PM8/23/07
to

"S.W.Christensen" <s...@energidanmark.dk> wrote in message
news:1187853296.1...@r23g2000prd.googlegroups.com...

>> The writer went on to claim the problem is 'too
>> much math'; as a result, students fail to learn
>> the fundamental concepts. He advocates a
>> new curriculum, based on case studies and
>> essays, as more effective.
>>
>> Thoughts? Has anyone tried this?
>
>
> Once upon a time the economics profession knew that the economy is a
> consequence of the actions of individual human beings; it was also
> realised that such a problem was mathematically intractable (this was
> long before computers got on stage).

afaik in the old days, what is called "political economy" today was what
everyone meant by "economics".

political economy is too close to the embarassing truth and was slowly
confined to the libraries.


Bill

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Aug 24, 2007, 12:30:29 AM8/24/07
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"Lantern" <lant...@peoplepc.com> wrote in message
news:1187900500.3...@x35g2000prf.googlegroups.com...

The academic discipline of economics is not in such dismal shape as is being
suggested here. Economists have many different measures for the amount of
money (i.e. "spending power") in circulation: m1 (rarely considered
seriously by itself) is the amount of currency in circulation, m2 also
includes demand deposit accounts (checking accounts), m3 includes additional
funds (like CDs I think)... It's been over 20 years since I studies
economics formally so I'll leave the interested persons to learn about m3,
m4, m5,... Now I mostly "study economics" as a fan of the financial
markets.

You said "Credit is not currency. Currency is not credit."
They may be different, but they are more alike than different. The
people at Target or Koels are basically indifferent whether you come in
with cash or a credit card. In fact, they may prefer you come with a credit
card, because they know that, psychologically, it's easier to spend money
you can't see rather than the kind you need to remove from your wallet or
purse.

In the 1930s, following the depression, your statement "Credit is not
currency. Currency is not credit." may have been well accepted. In the USA
today, I think the situtation is completely reversed I think too may
folks don't know the difference between credit and currency.

-Bill


Bill

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Aug 24, 2007, 4:14:02 PM8/24/07
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<ro...@telus.net> wrote in message news:46cdb987...@news.telus.net...

People use physics, mathematics and engineering to build bombs too. Don't
blame economic principles for their potential to be applied for personal
gain. The principles of economics simple hold--no matter how you or I feel
about them personally. Understanding them can be advantageous, compared to
not understanding them.

-Bill


Ron Peterson

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Aug 25, 2007, 12:01:02 AM8/25/07
to
On Aug 23, 1:57 am, Mark-T <MarkTanne...@gmail.com> wrote:
> There was an article in the August 12 NY Times,
> to the effect that "the dismal science is dismally
> taught".

> The writer went on to claim the problem is 'too


> much math'; as a result, students fail to learn
> the fundamental concepts. He advocates a
> new curriculum, based on case studies and
> essays, as more effective.

I think that the problem with economics is that there aren't good
mathematical models that encompass all of political economy. There are
some small models that work on options or other aspects of the economy
but integrating them into a unified theory is too difficult.

--
Ron

Bill

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Aug 25, 2007, 12:20:43 AM8/25/07
to

"Ron Peterson" <r...@shell.core.com> wrote in message
news:1188014462....@e9g2000prf.googlegroups.com...

This is actually where the individual has the advantage over the big
companies which rely computers. If economics and investing were a game
involving only numbers, the individual investor would never win.

-Bill


>
>
>


anon

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Aug 25, 2007, 7:21:17 AM8/25/07
to

"Ron Peterson" <r...@shell.core.com> wrote in message
news:1188014462....@e9g2000prf.googlegroups.com...
> I think that the problem with economics is that there aren't good
> mathematical models that encompass all of political economy. There are
> some small models that work on options or other aspects of the economy
> but integrating them into a unified theory is too difficult.
>

this obsession with mathematics is a problem. since economics is related to
individual and group decisions, it really belongs alongside psychology,
sociology and political sciences. None of those fields claims a mathematical
model of human behaviour is needed or feasible. By claiming to be a hard
science, economics has done itself disservice.

That may be because economists (and accountants) eventually end up advising
(and becoming) people in power. So many people get into economics for career
reasons, especially math and physics majors. They bring their own baggage
and have edged out "political economy" - which really is economics.

These days finance has become more attractive for career options, and i see
a lot of "stochastic calculus" and partial differential equations in
finance. Hopefully this may lead to a return to grassroots in economics.


professorchaos

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Aug 25, 2007, 1:54:00 PM8/25/07
to
First what is Econ 101? Principles courses are taught as principles of
macro and principles of micro. Each institution decides which is
numbered 23XX and 23YY. So I have my doubts about the validity of the
statement when they do not refer to micro or macro. Especially since
both are seen as introductory courses.

Secondly, presentation is a big issue in teaching economics. Most of my
colleagues dislike a lot of the standard textbooks precisely because it
is too much math. The Mankiw textbook was an improvement in the way
things were presented because over half the course is supply and demand
models. It covers previously believed to be optional topics first and
leaves the heavier theory of the firm, all the cost calculations and
learning market structures for last. That is on the micro side. On the
macro side Mankiw waits until very late in the book, by previous
standards, to introduce aggregate demand and aggregate supply.

The arguments are nothing new. In macro a more international focus has
been advocated. The main problem is international trade has most been a
micro issue and although the younger macro economist have a stronger
international backing. The established guys with names people know often
do not. Which makes it hard for macro. Macro is also in such a state of
flux it is hard to decide what to teach. The old Keynesian models went
under fire and were deemphasized about 10 years ago but the replacements
for Keynes and Rational Expectations are not exactly forthcoming and now
with the New Keynesian revival it makes one wonder what should be taught.

The areas we have a stronger handle on like growth and development and
international monetary economics are still unknown to all but a handful
of authors. Mankiw writes as though growth theory stopped at Makiw Romer
Weil. This leaves macro courses being taught by younger generation
economist as confusing. We never spoke of Keynes in grad school. We know
the traditional view is extremely flawed and textbooks present a patched
up model because they believe students can not handle a discussion of
underpinnings and how New Keynesian models work.

My biggest complaint is that macroeconomics falls flat because modern
macro has huge microeconomic foundations. Yet institutions have failed
to make microeconomics a prerequisite for macro. It would be so much
easier to explain Keynes in terms of labor markets, monopolistic
competition (where monopoly analysis is needed, and in terms of
externalities than animal spirits and the half ass philosophy Keynes
presented. Without requiring students take micro first, Macro becomes a
disconnected jumble of theories and is presented more as philosophy of
Friedman vs. Keynes than a class of science. So I have no doubt macro
students do not retain the material as well. It has been my experience
on average macro test scores are much lower than micro scores.

That being said as an economist, I have to admit we do a poor job of
presenting what we have to offer. Grad students are often preped only
for teaching and we still haven't sold the business world as to why
knowing about human behavior and having knowledge of how to apply
economic models is superior to simple accounting formulas that do not
account for human response. Because of the Keynesian hoodoo approach to
macroeconomics the field got a bad rep from the 1930-1970's in which
economist have done little to erase. I think this is largely due to
putting macro on par with micro and not requiring micro first so macro
can built from logical micro foundations learned in microeconomic classes.

Instead of the solid microeconomic foundations that new macro is built
on, I have to joke about things like animal spirits and student often
don't see the actual science after that. Friedman and Keynes because a
discussion that sounds like opinion because the micro foundations are
not there for over half the class. Especially when schools decided to
mark macro as the first semester and students think they have to take
that first. I feel embarassed that in macro classes we have to discuss
this and I feel it also tunes students out as soon as it is mentioned
especially considering it takes a another month to build up to how to
accurately account for expectations.

professorchaos

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Aug 25, 2007, 2:02:41 PM8/25/07
to
S.W.Christensen wrote:

>
> Once upon a time the economics profession knew that the economy is a
> consequence of the actions of individual human beings; it was also
> realised that such a problem was mathematically intractable (this was
> long before computers got on stage). Therefore nobody bothered about
> mathematics in economics; instead all focus was on understanding the
> principles that guide economic processes.
>

Completely wrong. It is not mathematically intractable and no one
bothered about math before the marginalist revolution because political
economy was in the realm of philosophy and the theorist had little
knowledge of math.

> Some time later a lot of economists decided that they WOULD force
> mathematics into economics, whether it was tractable or not.

Wrong people like Stanley Jevons and Paul Samuelson showed how math was
useful and how it could enrich the study of behavior. Every science
needs proof and you need measures and statistic to do that. Not
philosophers that people think are wise arguing with each other like
Smith, Ricardo, and Marx did to little avail.

>Their
> solution was to assume that the economy behaves as system governed by
> mathematical equations prescribed from above (i.e. they gave up on the
> idea that the economy is a consequence of the actions of individual
> human beings).

Entirely wrong. Most that goes into the equations can be found in Smith,
Ricardo, and other pre-marginalist revolution writers. The rest comes
from the theory of marginal analysis that enriched the ability to use math.

>Since then they have been happily fiddling with
> differential equations to their hearts delight; and this to the extent
> that they have almost completely forgotten about the fundamental
> principles ruling economic processes.
>

If that were true the psychic majors in graduate schools would have a
lot easier time. In graduate schools prior econ majors often trouble
with the math. Previous hard science majors have trouble with the
concepts. They can do the math in their sleep but struggling with
catching up with the principles. You have to know the principles to set
the model up. If you do not know them you have no idea how to write a
model to solve or why you are doing it.


> Personally, I think the only kind of mathematics that really belongs
> in economics is non-linear dynamics, because this is a mathematical
> representation of economic reality, whereas the differential equations
> are not.
>

Differential equations are not really only that common. The dynamics are
often not linear. Have you ever seen a growth model? Do you know
anything about the use of optimal control models for growth and for
renewable resource models? Have you seen a dynamic model in economics?

professorchaos

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Aug 25, 2007, 2:04:58 PM8/25/07
to
William Elliot wrote:

> Because of them, and the politicians who encourage them, the integeral of
> the American economy around the pole of debt is tens of trillion$.
>

Geez, you are out of touch. When was the last time a politician listened
to an economist? The cases are rare. Greg Mankiw has a great synopsis of
his time as the CEA chair in his textbook. What politicians see as
political reality and what is good economics rarely coincide.


professorchaos

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Aug 25, 2007, 2:07:39 PM8/25/07
to
Lantern wrote:
>> ... a new curriculum, based on case studies and
>> essays, as more effective.>
>
> One of the first things we must do to improve economics education is
> stop the crime of calling credit "money". For example, use of term
> "monetary supply".

You are a little behind the curve. M3 hasn't been in textbooks for at
least 10 years. The Fed doesn't even calculate M3 anymore. Even when M3
was around it was hardly used. M1 and M2 have always been the main
measures and have no credit in them.

Now if you are referring to credit as bank money that may be different
but then you miss the point that bank money, money that exist only on
bank books (not currency not credit just numbers representing currency)
then miss the whole point of what a fiat system of money is.

professorchaos

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Aug 25, 2007, 2:17:35 PM8/25/07
to
ro...@telus.net wrote:
>
> Economics is not like other sciences. Other sciences consist of
> mostly cooperative international efforts to increase understanding of
> the natural world for the benefit of all. Economics is unique among
> sciences in that illumination of its subject matter is NOT to the
> benefit of all. It is inconvenient to the financial interests of the
> wealthy and powerful.

Wrong it is very convenient to the financial interest of the wealthy and
powerful to know it well. Although they might benefit from others not
knowing it. Which is why psuedo-economic rumors like monopolies selling
at lower than cost to drive out competition exist.

> The principal function of economics is
> therefore to obscure it.
>

It may be advantageous to politicians who want economically unsound
policies and those who wish to exploit imperfect information to obscure
economics and take advantage of the fact that economics is not required
circulum in most states. The economist does no such thing. Although we
might be guilty of often writing with the audience of other economist in
mind. I doubt this is very different with psychics. Except that psychics
doesn't deal with human behavior so people do not feel like they
understand it. Psychologist have a worse position too many people think
because they are human they perfectly understand human behavior.

> The cooperative international effort in economic science is
> consequently not to increase understanding but to prevent it, by dint
> of a confused welter of mostly ill-defined technical terms for
> fabricated concepts; a massive edifice of algebraic expressions
> purporting to describe phenomena that often cannot even be observed,
> let alone quantified; and a narrow focus on mathematical proofs of
> untestable hypotheses.
>

In 1936 with John Maynard Keynes this may have been true. Today we stick
to testable hypothesis.


> Economics would more accurately be termed the deceitful science, not
> the dismal one, and the absence of any measurable increase in
> economics students' understanding is not a failure of economics
> instruction at all, but its intended result.
>

Speaking like this could probably get on Coast to Coast. You really
should write a book this type of psuedo-science makes millions. I bet
you believe David Eicke when he tells you the illumanti and the masons
run the world. It is sad that in this day and age psuedo-science and so
subpar research that uses a statement that the council for foreign
relations support ONE bill that pass in the 1970s suddenly proves that
they are running the nation behind close doors can actually be believed.

professorchaos

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Aug 25, 2007, 2:24:09 PM8/25/07
to
anon wrote:
> "Ron Peterson" <r...@shell.core.com> wrote in message

> this obsession with mathematics is a problem. since economics is related to

> individual and group decisions, it really belongs alongside psychology,
> sociology and political sciences. None of those fields claims a mathematical
> model of human behaviour is needed or feasible.

You have been looking at these fields lately. Time series and game
theory are huge in political science and game theory is very big in
psychology. They are coming out of the dark ages. The statistical
methods in the other social sciences are advancing quite a bit. So much
that psychology and political science professors are sitting on economic
dissertation committees.


> That may be because economists (and accountants) eventually end up advising
> (and becoming) people in power.

Very few do. The last economic in a political position, that I know of,
was Phil Gramm he is the chair at TX A&M now. Please don't lump
accountants with economist. I have taken enough accounting course to
know they have no understanding of economics. If it would not have been
required I would have dropped my cost accounting course in the first
week when they claimed that average variable cost are constant.


> These days finance has become more attractive for career options, and i see
> a lot of "stochastic calculus" and partial differential equations in
> finance. Hopefully this may lead to a return to grassroots in economics.
>
>

Stochastic analysis in economics has been used extensively since the
1970's. Have you ever heard of Tom Sergent or Bob Lucas?

Lantern

unread,
Aug 25, 2007, 4:15:52 PM8/25/07
to
On Aug 25, 11:07 am, professorchaos <professorch...@houston.rr.com>
wrote:

> Now if you are referring to credit as bank money that may be different
> but then you miss the point that bank money, money that exist only on
> bank books (not currency not credit just numbers representing currency)
> then miss the whole point of what a fiat system of money is.>

Right-on Professor! I hope you are really a professor, teaching our
kids. Maybe you could add a little for me regarding "bank money". It
is not currency and it is not credit, it is....it is...What is it?
How'd it get there?
Who put it there?

anon

unread,
Aug 25, 2007, 10:08:43 PM8/25/07
to

"professorchaos" <profess...@houston.rr.com> wrote in message
news:46d073ed$0$15345$4c36...@roadrunner.com...

> anon wrote:
> You have been looking at these fields lately. Time series and game theory
> are huge in political science and game theory is very big in psychology.
> They are coming out of the dark ages.

empirical data to be analyzed needs statistics and time series. that is
reasonable. the economics courses i took resembled math courses, and there
was no emperical data, just partial differential equations and matrices.
that made no sense in the real world.

math courses atleast were useful in some ways. economics + math was
completely useless. it did not help in real life in any way.

people have to write papers, that is a professional requirement. they can
only rehash the facts of political economy and political sciences in so many
ways linguistically. the stuff isn't so complicated anyways. people have to
complicate it to make a living.

>The statistical methods in the other social sciences are advancing quite a
>bit. So much that psychology and political science professors are sitting
>on economic dissertation committees.

> Very few do. The last economic in a political position, that I know of,

> was Phil Gramm he is the chair at TX A&M now. Please don't lump

i also mentioned advising people in power.

a lot of people in power have economics degrees - especially in finance
jobs. a significacnt portion of the US economy is finance related. career
economists do not get to be in power much - i guess because they spend too
much time doing advanced math. mostly they are giving people in power
justification for grabbing more power, or selling power to the rich.

economists can justify any position - for a consulting fee.

>
> Stochastic analysis in economics has been used extensively since the
> 1970's.

i meant that the urge to do math might find an outlet in finance, and
economics might return to political economy.

regards


ro...@telus.net

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Aug 25, 2007, 10:59:44 PM8/25/07
to
On Sat, 25 Aug 2007 13:17:35 -0500, professorchaos
<profess...@houston.rr.com> wrote:

>ro...@telus.net wrote:
>>
>> Economics is not like other sciences. Other sciences consist of
>> mostly cooperative international efforts to increase understanding of
>> the natural world for the benefit of all. Economics is unique among
>> sciences in that illumination of its subject matter is NOT to the
>> benefit of all. It is inconvenient to the financial interests of the
>> wealthy and powerful.
>
>Wrong it is very convenient to the financial interest of the wealthy and
>powerful to know it well. Although they might benefit from others not
>knowing it.

Especially voters.

>> The principal function of economics is
>> therefore to obscure it.
>>
>It may be advantageous to politicians who want economically unsound
>policies

Wrong. Politicians couldn't care less about the economic soundness of
policies. They just want money and power, and the way to get money
and power is to serve the interests of those who have money and power
to dispense. That is why politicians always implement economically
unsound policies that favor the rich, whether they accord with the
fashionable rationalizations of economists or not.

>and those who wish to exploit imperfect information to obscure
>economics and take advantage of the fact that economics is not required
>circulum in most states.

Oh, garbage. Requiring economics would just ensure that everyone was
equally brainwashed with lies. Research by psychologists has shown
that economics students are the most amoral on campus, even beating
out law students. It doesn't take a genius to infer that their
professors are likewise the most amoral on campus. Amorality is the
True Gospel of Economics, and economists are its disciples. Reponding
to incentives just like Pavlov's dogs, economists lie to the public
about economics to serve the interests of the rich, because that is
what pays best.

>The economist does no such thing.

He most certainly does. Proof: the hundreds of economists who have
endorsed the execrable anti-scientific nonsense contained in the
FairTax proposal, a proposal whose economic rationale is laughable,
but that would massively shift the burden of taxation off the idle
rich and onto working people.

>Although we
>might be guilty of often writing with the audience of other economist in
>mind.

Garbage. Economists know very well they are lying for the purpose of
deceiving journalists and voters, not other economists who are also in
on the deceit.

>> The cooperative international effort in economic science is
>> consequently not to increase understanding but to prevent it, by dint
>> of a confused welter of mostly ill-defined technical terms for
>> fabricated concepts; a massive edifice of algebraic expressions
>> purporting to describe phenomena that often cannot even be observed,
>> let alone quantified; and a narrow focus on mathematical proofs of
>> untestable hypotheses.
>
>In 1936 with John Maynard Keynes this may have been true. Today we stick
>to testable hypothesis.

_Liar_. When was any general equilibrium hypothesis ever tested,
hmmmm?

>> Economics would more accurately be termed the deceitful science, not
>> the dismal one, and the absence of any measurable increase in
>> economics students' understanding is not a failure of economics
>> instruction at all, but its intended result.
>
>Speaking like this could probably get on Coast to Coast.

Thanks for proving that you are stupid as well as a liar. Analyses
such as mine are never permitted in the mainstream media at all.

>You really
>should write a book this type of psuedo-science makes millions.

Liar. No publisher will even print this sort of information, let
alone pay the guy who wrote it.

>I bet
>you believe David Eicke when he tells you the illumanti and the masons
>run the world.

Wrong again. That's a perfect score: zero. David Icke gets lots of
press because he is safely and obviously a kook.

If conspiracy kooks did not exist, conspirators would have to invent
them.

Oh. Wait a minute...

>It is sad that in this day and age psuedo-science and so
>subpar research that uses a statement that the council for foreign
>relations support ONE bill that pass in the 1970s suddenly proves that
>they are running the nation behind close doors can actually be believed.

How else do you explain disasters like the invasion of Iraq, which
benefit no one but certain narrow, wealthy interests who reap immense
profits from the immense suffering of others?

-- Roy L

Ron Peterson

unread,
Aug 25, 2007, 11:29:33 PM8/25/07
to
On Aug 24, 11:20 pm, "Bill" <Bill_NOS...@comcast.net> wrote:
> "Ron Peterson" <r...@shell.core.com> wrote in message

> > I think that the problem with economics is that there aren't good


> > mathematical models that encompass all of political economy. There are
> > some small models that work on options or other aspects of the economy
> > but integrating them into a unified theory is too difficult.

> This is actually where the individual has the advantage over the big


> companies which rely computers. If economics and investing were a game
> involving only numbers, the individual investor would never win.

What makes economics difficult is that every new technology or
discovery changes the course of economic development, but it gives
those that understand the technologies, discoveries, and customer
preferences a chance to get above average returns.

--
Ron

professorchaos

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Aug 26, 2007, 11:28:05 PM8/26/07
to

Essentially in a fiat system bank move is just like currency but the
definition of currency means it something that be held. Bank is created
by the fractional reserve system. Lets say I deposit $100 in my bank.
The bank keeps a fraction on hand in case I want to withdraw. Some
people withdraw more than others so they have a percentage of total
outflows they can expect on a day to day basis. Lets say it is 10% they
put in the vault.

Ok, then what do they do with the other $90. They loan it. So they keep
$10 to meet expected withdrawals and give out $90 dollars of the deposit
in a loan. They have created bank money. I still have access to my $100
but the person who gets the loan has $90 of the money I deposited.
Although there is no currency to back up my $100 deposit merchants will
take a check or a debit card as payment. So my $100 is money in
circulation but so is the $90 loan. That is how bank money is created.
In reality all cash goes in the vault and the $100 dollar deposit
becomes bank money and so does the $90 loan. The other $10 is also bank
money listed as reserves.

professorchaos

unread,
Aug 27, 2007, 12:07:43 AM8/27/07
to
ro...@telus.net wrote:
> On Sat, 25 Aug 2007 13:17:35 -0500, professorchaos
> <profess...@houston.rr.com> wrote:

> Wrong. Politicians couldn't care less about the economic soundness of
> policies.

I would agree but I still have a little more faith and choose to believe
it is because they are ignorant of economic principles.

They just want money and power, and the way to get money
> and power is to serve the interests of those who have money and power
> to dispense.

In the system we have you have to get money to get elected so yes
lobbyist have disproportionate power. This is the whole basis of the
public choice case some economist believe firmly in. You balance budgets
yearly because tax increases are hard to pass. So it limit the money
lobbyist can get. This lowers the payoff from lobbying and decreases
lobbyist money into the system and their power. Still highly inefficient
yet, it will happen until the US people decide they will not vote for
anyone who does not support a law banning campaign contributions and
public funds for elections where the money is divided equally among
candidates.


> Oh, garbage. Requiring economics would just ensure that everyone was
> equally brainwashed with lies. Research by psychologists has shown
> that economics students are the most amoral on campus, even beating
> out law students.

Research this is really funny. First of all a real psychologist doing
real research would have to define amoral and be able to measure it.
Good luck there. Garbage into the study garbage out. It was probably
some hippy who defined amoral has meaning wanting a job that pays a
decent amount is amoral.

> It doesn't take a genius to infer that their
> professors are likewise the most amoral on campus. Amorality is the
> True Gospel of Economics, and economists are its disciples. Reponding
> to incentives just like Pavlov's dogs,

There is a huge difference between stimulus and incentive. Pavlov gave
the dogs stimulus not incentives. Incentive gives a reason to want to do
something. You don't have to do it. For example, allowing charitable
contributions as a tax write off gives incentive to invest. It doesn't
mean every does it. In Pavlov's experiment the stimulus created a
response that the dogs had no choice over. You don't really even
understand Pavlov much less economics if you can't understand what an
incentive is.

>economists lie to the public
> about economics to serve the interests of the rich, because that is
> what pays best.
>

Really? When I worked at a community college while finishing my doctoral
degree were my students the rich? Could have fooled me. They responded a
lot better to examples involving Top Ramen than examples involving Romeo
and Juliet Cigars. They did pay a good portion of my salary then.
Students at my own university paid at least 2/3 of graduate stipend. If
you compare in state tuition to out of state tuition(note no state
funding for out of state students). So I should burn all my AERs because
all of those professors from Cambridge to small town Louisana colleges
who have published in them are being paid by the man to lie?
Do you stay up to 4 am listening to Alex Jones, David Eiche, and others
who want to tell you the government is behind everything from UFOs to
9/11? Oh excuse me, the global government run by the Ilumanti or Masons
depending on which psuedo-researcher is presenting the story.


>> The economist does no such thing.
>
> He most certainly does. Proof: the hundreds of economists who have
> endorsed the execrable anti-scientific nonsense contained in the
> FairTax proposal, a proposal whose economic rationale is laughable,
> but that would massively shift the burden of taxation off the idle
> rich and onto working people.
>

Personally, I have not even seen the proposal. Although I did get an
email from the same people I think asking me to sign a petition to stop
the oil taxes congress is proposing. That would not shift anything just
prevent new taxes that are very bad. So I can not comment on what may or
may not be in this proposal. My sense is you have no sense of science so
if I have time I may look at it and evaluate for myself if it is unsound
or not. My guess is Alex Jones said it was unsound over the radio and
you believe him.

>> Although we
>> might be guilty of often writing with the audience of other economist in
>> mind.
>
> Garbage. Economists know very well they are lying for the purpose of
> deceiving journalists and voters, not other economists who are also in
> on the deceit.
>

Man, Alex Jones would love you. I bet he would get a spot on his radio
show. Someone who believes certainly must believe that the government
would have been stupid enough to waste a missile by shooting it into a
building they were going to crash a plane into anyway.


>> In 1936 with John Maynard Keynes this may have been true. Today we stick
>> to testable hypothesis.
>
> _Liar_. When was any general equilibrium hypothesis ever tested,
> hmmmm?
>

Over and over again. The empirical work supports it. Even some of my own
research has dealt with general equilibrium models. Guess what the data
said the model was pretty accurate.

>>> Economics would more accurately be termed the deceitful science, not
>>> the dismal one, and the absence of any measurable increase in
>>> economics students' understanding is not a failure of economics
>>> instruction at all, but its intended result.
>> Speaking like this could probably get on Coast to Coast.
>
> Thanks for proving that you are stupid as well as a liar. Analyses
> such as mine are never permitted in the mainstream media at all.
>

To call this analysis is a joke. I am surprised you do not know what
Coast to Coast is. Art Bell or George Nory would put you on in a heart
beat on that show. You just have to write a book that presents little
fact and draws a conclusion like the Masons run everything to get on
that show. I have had some bouts with insomina in graduate school and it
was delightfully disengage to listen this type of psuedo-science in the
early morning hours. It will helped to pull my head out of OX, modeling,
and cutting edge econometrics. There are very few real scientist on that
show and when they do come on they are on the outskirts talking about
things like string theory and always stop the questioning when the host
wants to pull that into alien abductions.

>> You really
>> should write a book this type of psuedo-science makes millions.
>
> Liar. No publisher will even print this sort of information, let
> alone pay the guy who wrote it.
>

Look up David Eicke, Alex Jones, or Lynda Molten Howell on the internet.
Publishers will publish anything. America is a great place where free
speech is allowed. Alex Jones still hasn't been arrested for claiming
the government was behind 9/11 nor even going further by claiming the
government is controlled by the Masons. There are even books published
saying George Bush is a reptilian alien and that people have seen him
transform into an alien. I can not seriously believe with this claptrap
attacking our government out there that a publisher wouldn't print a
book bashing people politicians don't even listen to.

The real problem is you make McCarthy statements and call it analysis.
There is no analysis in your postings and you can't write more than a
few paragraphs. You wouldn't have the faintest idea of how to put a book
together. Although I wish you would. I would love to call into Coast to
Coast and tear your psuedo-analysis apart while the incredulous lineup
to buy the book.

>> I bet
>> you believe David Eicke when he tells you the illumanti and the masons
>> run the world.
>
> Wrong again. That's a perfect score: zero. David Icke gets lots of
> press because he is safely and obviously a kook.
>

Well that is one thing we agree on. Maybe you are more the Alex Jones type.


> How else do you explain disasters like the invasion of Iraq, which
> benefit no one but certain narrow, wealthy interests who reap immense
> profits from the immense suffering of others?

Iraq hasn't benefited the wealthy. Gas prices are still soaring. Iraqi
oil is not even fully online yet. The wealthy in the UN were in a much
better position when the Oil for food scandals were going on and France
and Russia were giving huge kickbacks to Saddam Hussein in exchange for
contracts under OFF(Oil for Food) and buying Iraq oil at less than
market rates and giving Saddam a cut.

That war had nothing to do with wealthy people getting control of oil.
It had everything to do with Saddam getting wealthy off a corrupt UN
system that Kofi Annon and others were skimming off the top. All the
while giving money back to Saddam so he could restart biological and
nuclear programs. Read the Duefler report no massive stockpiles but
those programs were in existence again with Oil for Food. The OFF
debacle threatened Israel, our ally, and other allies in the region. As
Saddam got back to his old tricks. Granted the stockpiles were not there
and the programs were no where near 1991 levels. However, to keep Iraqi
as a UN colony where certain security members were pillaging what they
could will supporting a dangerous dictator who had no problems using
biological weapons would have led to greater than 1991 levels eventually.

George W. Bush did want Winston Churchill would have done during the
Anschluss or the Munich conference had the pacifist not let him.
Churchill would have gone done in history like Bush if he had been able
to. He would been blamed for starting a small war with Germany and no
one would have known the carnage he prevented if parliament would have
listened him. Bush may have very prevented a huge amount of carnage that
likely would have happened in 10-15 years time if Hussein had been left
in power while corrupt UN policies fed him and corrupt Frenchmen,
Russians, and UN members. Do you realize less than half of Iraqi oil
sales went to Iraqi from 1994 to the invasion? Do you realize the UN got
over 20% of Iraqi oil sales prior to the invasion? That Kuwait was still
getting large reparations? That the UK/US tried price controls to stop
the corruption?

Iraq was all about stopping corrupt interest before it was true late.

>
> -- Roy L

Tim Norfolk

unread,
Aug 27, 2007, 9:45:30 AM8/27/07
to
On Aug 27, 12:07?am, professorchaos <professorch...@houston.rr.com>
wrote:

> George W. Bush did want Winston Churchill would have done during the
> Anschluss or the Munich conference had the pacifist not let him.
> Churchill would have gone done in history like Bush if he had been able
> to. He would been blamed for starting a small war with Germany and no
> one would have known the carnage he prevented if parliament would have
> listened him.

That's a stretch, as Neville Chamberlain was Prime Minister at that
time.

On the basic contention in this thread (mathematics in economics), one
of the problems that I see is that the econ majors around here don't
take enough mathematics to understand most of the models presented.
Ours only take a baby business calculus and baby statistics course.

As for fiat currency, I have serious concerns in the US and UK,
especially given the tremendous dimunition of the actual reserves held
in the poast 20 years. Off the top of my head, it's down to something
like 0.4%

*Anarcissie*

unread,
Aug 27, 2007, 9:57:54 AM8/27/07
to
On Aug 27, 12:07 am, professorchaos <professorch...@houston.rr.com>
wrote:
> ...

> George W. Bush did want Winston Churchill would have done during the
> Anschluss or the Munich conference had the pacifist not let him.
> Churchill would have gone done in history like Bush if he had been able
> to. He would been blamed for starting a small war with Germany and no
> one would have known the carnage he prevented if parliament would have
> listened him. Bush may have very prevented a huge amount of carnage that
> likely would have happened in 10-15 years time....

For a hard-nosed, fact-demanding scientist you are
suddenly mighty imaginative.

Joshua Cranmer

unread,
Aug 27, 2007, 11:59:05 AM8/27/07
to
professorchaos wrote:
> ro...@telus.net wrote:
>> On Sat, 25 Aug 2007 13:17:35 -0500, professorchaos
>> <profess...@houston.rr.com> wrote:
>
>> Wrong. Politicians couldn't care less about the economic soundness of
>> policies.
>
> I would agree but I still have a little more faith and choose to believe
> it is because they are ignorant of economic principles.

I would go farther to say that the more accurate description is that
politicians are acting on misconceptions of economics. My basis for this
argument is the Townsend Plan. Its basic idea was to support a
trickle-down theory by giving money to senior citizens, not an
all-together bad idea [*]. However, it promised approximately twice the
average pre-retirement salary (this during the Great Depression)
financed by a 2% value-added tax. Problem is, that wouldn't be near
enough to actually finance the plan. IIRC, Townsend eventually admitted
that he more-or-less made up the numbers.

In short, though, my basic idea is that politicians try to do the right
thing economically, but end up tripping over misconceptions of economics
(e.g. the current China-bashing) and putting some interests over the
economically right thing to do (e.g. Social Security).

>> They just want money and power, and the way to get money
>> and power is to serve the interests of those who have money and power
>> to dispense.
>
> In the system we have you have to get money to get elected so yes
> lobbyist have disproportionate power. This is the whole basis of the
> public choice case some economist believe firmly in. You balance budgets
> yearly because tax increases are hard to pass. So it limit the money
> lobbyist can get. This lowers the payoff from lobbying and decreases
> lobbyist money into the system and their power. Still highly inefficient
> yet, it will happen until the US people decide they will not vote for
> anyone who does not support a law banning campaign contributions and
> public funds for elections where the money is divided equally among
> candidates.

Democracies have some fundamental fatal flaws: the biggest one is that
voters often act irrationally. I have heard a good review of "The Myth
of the Rational Voter" from The Economist which is pertinent to this
topic, so I might cull up the article to explain more effectively.

That brings up another point about politicians: they tend to cater more
to their constituent core than to the good of the country. Given that
voters are often irrational in their decisions (we want more but we
don't want to pay more), politicians tend to put those concerns ahead of
the right thing to do when given a choice.

[*] Actually, I personally hold that schemes like Social Security are a
bad thing, given that the middle- and upper-class are capable of
creating saving schemes to comfortably live out the rest of their lives
and do not need government intervention to do so. Any attempt by anyone
else to dissuade me from this viewpoint would almost assuredly fail, so
don't even bother trying to do so.

Lantern

unread,
Aug 27, 2007, 2:03:36 PM8/27/07
to
On Aug 25, 11:07 am, professorchaos <professorch...@houston.rr.com>
wrote:

>>Bank (money) is created by the fractional reserve system. >>

Thanks for your patience. I think I understand what the fractional
reserve system is. Your "bank money" sounds like it is bank deposits
that are available for loans. Bank money is available for credit (with
the multiplier). Bank money becomes credit when it is actually lent
out. How am I doing so far ? :)

professorchaos

unread,
Aug 27, 2007, 3:12:03 PM8/27/07
to

Bank money is what happens to your money when you deposit. The loan is
turned into money when it is used and deposited into a checking or
savings account. This might occur from the check going straight to a
dealership for a car. The dealership then deposits the check and the
bank balance goes up.


The money available for loans is excess reserves. This is money the bank
is holding in reserve until it is lent and this not counted as part of
the money because it is not available to be used until the bank approves
loans so people can use it. In the car loan example the lending bank
transfers from reserves to the dealership's account. It becomes part of
the money supply then because it can now be circulated.

professorchaos

unread,
Aug 27, 2007, 3:19:23 PM8/27/07
to
Tim Norfolk wrote:
> On Aug 27, 12:07?am, professorchaos <professorch...@houston.rr.com>
> wrote:
>> George W. Bush did want Winston Churchill would have done during the
>> Anschluss or the Munich conference had the pacifist not let him.
>> Churchill would have gone done in history like Bush if he had been able
>> to. He would been blamed for starting a small war with Germany and no
>> one would have known the carnage he prevented if parliament would have
>> listened him.
>
> That's a stretch, as Neville Chamberlain was Prime Minister at that
> time.
>

Not a stretch at all. Churchill was speaking actively in parliament
around this time about the German threat. He was warning parliament and
the PM action was necessary. He was constantly reporting with alarm
about the german build up of aircraft and aircraft engines that could be
used as bombers and fighters. The UK didn't listen and was slow to even
expand the RAF to meet the threat. There were few Hurricanes and no
spitfires at the time and parliament thought pacifying Hitler would work.

They believed D0-17z bombers were really postal planes and that the
aircraft engines were for civilian use. Read the Dulfer report then read
Gather Storm. The similarities are way too much. All of those dual
purpose chemicals sitting around Iraq that liberals claim were for
industrial use sound a lot like the Do-17Z postal plane, uhmm bomber, to
me.

> On the basic contention in this thread (mathematics in economics), one
> of the problems that I see is that the econ majors around here don't
> take enough mathematics to understand most of the models presented.
> Ours only take a baby business calculus and baby statistics course.
>

Granted. Some institutions do not even put an algebra requirement before
students take economics. Those institutions are really fun to teach in
why 90% of the students miss a question like say what is the temperature
and time at the origin of this graph. That is the pre-test to let them
know what they need to work on math skills wise to be ready for the course.

Rob.Vi...@itt.com

unread,
Aug 27, 2007, 3:33:36 PM8/27/07
to
On Aug 27, 12:07 am, professorchaos <professorch...@houston.rr.com>
wrote:
> ro...@telus.net wrote:

> > On Sat, 25 Aug 2007 13:17:35 -0500, professorchaos
> > <professorch...@houston.rr.com> wrote:

> > Oh, garbage. Requiring economics would just ensure that everyone was
> > equally brainwashed with lies. Research by psychologists has shown
> > that economics students are the most amoral on campus, even beating
> > out law students.

> Research this is really funny. First of all a real psychologist doing
> real research would have to define amoral and be able to measure it.
> Good luck there. Garbage into the study garbage out. It was probably
> some hippy who defined amoral has meaning wanting a job that pays a
> decent amount is amoral.

I don't know why this anonymous supposed professor wants to proclaim
his more-than-ignorance.

http://robertvienneau.blogspot.com/2006/09/does-studying-mainstream-economics.html

> >> In 1936 with John Maynard Keynes this may have been true. Today we stick
> >> to testable hypothesis.

> > _Liar_. When was any general equilibrium hypothesis ever tested,
> > hmmmm?

> Over and over again. The empirical work supports it. Even some of my own
> research has dealt with general equilibrium models. Guess what the data
> said the model was pretty accurate.

Somehow I suspect this anonymous supposed professor is completely
unaware of Alan Kirman's extensions and comments on the Sonnenschein-
Mantel-Debreu results.

Clearly the American Economic Association doesn't care if their
members are liars and thieves. They have no sense of professional
ethics. But I don't think most mainstream economists consciously
lie all the time. Many, I suspect, are ignorant of their ignorance -
"ignorance squared" as it has been called.

professorchaos

unread,
Aug 27, 2007, 3:34:55 PM8/27/07
to
Joshua Cranmer wrote:

> [*] Actually, I personally hold that schemes like Social Security are a
> bad thing, given that the middle- and upper-class are capable of
> creating saving schemes to comfortably live out the rest of their lives
> and do not need government intervention to do so. Any attempt by anyone
> else to dissuade me from this viewpoint would almost assuredly fail, so
> don't even bother trying to do so.

You won't have any argument from me. I don't believe the Democrats when
they say the middle class are too stupid to handle their own money so
they need to give it to the government and that is exactly what they say
and morons agree with it thinking the fathead was talking about everyone
else but them. How many times have we heard liberals argue that people
do not know how to invest and they lose money in the stock market?

I think that is why politicians will never make economics part of the
core curriculum in schools. It teaches kids to think and analyze. If
thought right it teaches students to think about cost and weigh them
against perceived or real benefits. That is the key to teaching
economics not if they the student can remember what the marginal cost
curve looks like. NB: I really wonder if part of the reason why students
were failing the test 6 months after is because the course was taught
right and students learned how to think like an economist then the test
was a bunch of calculations like elasticity, marginal cost, and what is
the shape of this curve rather how do we apply what we know. In the end,
the thinking process being implanted is more important for principles
than what supply and demand look like. Intermediate is a whole different
story but for principles that is what most of colleagues and I want to
achieve.

If all students in the US were educated to do this the democrats and
republicans would be screwed. People would realize minimum wages
decrease employment. That supporting unions means you raise the union
fat cat's salary and some people get a bit of a raise while many are
left unemployed. They realize that those jobs they are supposed to
protect by stopping trade with China actually decrease jobs in other
areas because Chinese incomes do not grow as much and they do not import
as much from us. They might actually start realize the logic in John C.
Calhoun's exposition. They might realize that illegal immigration has
kept housing and food prices down for a long time, even though it does
hurt high school dropouts and manual laborers. They might start thinking
about how it affects me rather than listening to propaganda. They might
even realize they face higher prices when trade is limited and illegal
immigration is stopped. They might realize the cost of stopping illegal
immigration totally far outweighs the benefits. They might realize
curtailing exports lowers prices here. They might realize investing in
mutual funds is safe if you invest for the long haul and don't pull it
out the first time prices drop. They might actually realize that
politicians are calling them stupid on a daily basis and they can make
decisions for themselves that are better than someone in Washington who
knows nothing about them can make.

That is just my opinion I could be wrong.

Butters

"It is fortunate for rulers that people do not think."
Adolf Hitler.

professorchaos

unread,
Aug 27, 2007, 5:05:57 PM8/27/07
to
Rob.Vi...@itt.com wrote:
> On Aug 27, 12:07 am, professorchaos <professorch...@houston.rr.com>
> wrote:
>> ro...@telus.net wrote:
>
>>> On Sat, 25 Aug 2007 13:17:35 -0500, professorchaos
>>> <professorch...@houston.rr.com> wrote:
>
>>> Oh, garbage. Requiring economics would just ensure that everyone was
>>> equally brainwashed with lies. Research by psychologists has shown
>>> that economics students are the most amoral on campus, even beating
>>> out law students.
>
>> Research this is really funny. First of all a real psychologist doing
>> real research would have to define amoral and be able to measure it.
>> Good luck there. Garbage into the study garbage out. It was probably
>> some hippy who defined amoral has meaning wanting a job that pays a
>> decent amount is amoral.
>
> I don't know why this anonymous supposed professor wants to proclaim
> his more-than-ignorance.
>
> http://robertvienneau.blogspot.com/2006/09/does-studying-mainstream-economics.html
>
There is nothing about morality in the link you posted. Whether or not
learning economics teaches cooperation has nothing to do with moral or
amoral behavior. Cooperation is not necessarily moral. People can
cooperate to kill millions of people like the Nazis did. Does that mean
they were acting morally by cooperation. The link you post on your ill
written blog never once mentions morality. NOT ONCE! The article only
proves no serious research would even mention morality must less try to
prove someone is acting amoral.


> Clearly the American Economic Association doesn't care if their
> members are liars and thieves. They have no sense of professional
> ethics. But I don't think most mainstream economists consciously
> lie all the time. Many, I suspect, are ignorant of their ignorance -
> "ignorance squared" as it has been called.
>

Just because you are not member doesn't mean they are liars. You
actually have to have a degree in economics or be a grad student to be a
member. Excluding people who do not part of the profession is no way
amoral or make the AEA liars. Does the state bar allow people who are
not lawyers in? Does the AMA let people without a MD degree in? NO.
I think that someone who spends their time posting a blog that is
doesn't give its readers a clue of what is talking about and wants to
show that some paper that never mentions morality somehow proves
economist are amoral, by a definition he does not give, is a kook.

You have no idea of what the AEA does do you? It is not a professional
licensing association. It is a forum for economist to discuss ideas.
The AEA does not sanction anyone to be an economist nor do they have to
give their blessing to practice like the AMA, AICPA, or state bar does.
It is a forum for exchange between people in the profession. They hold
meetings and help facilitate the job market for economist but they only
provide the space for interviews at their annual meetings they play no
role in the market itself. You do not even have to be a member to attend
the meetings. Membership subscribes you to their journals and that is it.


Such psuedo-scientific research is stifling. I am not saying the paper
is psuedo-scientific just this Rob is using David Eicke style research.
He takes one little fact he finds, and probably does not understand, and
uses to "prove" some overall conspiracy.

professorchaos

unread,
Aug 27, 2007, 5:19:55 PM8/27/07
to
Rob.Vi...@itt.com wrote:
> On Aug 27, 12:07 am, professorchaos <professorch...@houston.rr.com>
> wrote:
>> ro...@telus.net wrote:
>
>>> On Sat, 25 Aug 2007 13:17:35 -0500, professorchaos
>>> <professorch...@houston.rr.com> wrote:
>
>>> Oh, garbage. Requiring economics would just ensure that everyone was
>>> equally brainwashed with lies. Research by psychologists has shown
>>> that economics students are the most amoral on campus, even beating
>>> out law students.
>
>> Research this is really funny. First of all a real psychologist doing
>> real research would have to define amoral and be able to measure it.
>> Good luck there. Garbage into the study garbage out. It was probably
>> some hippy who defined amoral has meaning wanting a job that pays a
>> decent amount is amoral.
>
> I don't know why this anonymous supposed professor wants to proclaim
> his more-than-ignorance.
>
> http://robertvienneau.blogspot.com/2006/09/does-studying-mainstream-economics.html
>
Just one more thing, the link you provide is to a JEP article written by
an economist the original poster that I was responding to was referring
to some mystery piece done by a psychologist that he does not have a
citation from. You should read more carefully before interceding. If you
find that the JEP article shows amorality then I really can not argue
with you. Morality is not a scientific argument it can not be
scientifically proven, see Ken Arrow's work particularly the Arrow
impossibility theory. I still see no measure for morality or even a
definition of morality in the link you posted. I don't see how this
anything to do with shattering the Arrow impossibility theorem and
showing how we can prove or disprove moral arguments. I may see that you
finds the findings amoral but that has nothing to do with the discussion
about whether morality can be measured and assessed scientifically.

If you think that the behavior described in the article is amoral then
you do. Like I said prove it and I will be amazed. I mean proof not some
philosopher I think is wise said this. I am not going to get into a
discussion of Kant versus Nitchze. I deal with things you can look at
data and prove or disprove. Beyond it is up to individual to decide the
normative aspects. That is really what democracy and the American
constitution is about making those moral judgments for yourself. I am a
firm believer that people make the best decisions for themselves. I
present the cost and benefits and let others decide for themselves if it
is amoral or moral.

You can't prove this or anything else to be amoral. That is a normative
statement that can not be tested. Every has a different ideal of
morality based on our background and experiences.

You should read your readers comments they agree with me. Lack of
cooperation does not necessiarly equate to being a bad person. If it did
people like Heinrich Mueller, Reynhard Heinrich, Joseph Gobbles, and
Henrich Himmler would be saints they took cooperation to a whole new
level and look what it did to millions of people living in Europe that
the Nazis did not like because of their blood line or because they
didn't agree with them.

I really think you, Alex Jones, and David Eicke would get along just
fine. You have that same psuedo-scientific research style.

alexy

unread,
Aug 27, 2007, 5:23:03 PM8/27/07
to
ro...@telus.net wrote:


>Research by psychologists has shown
>that economics students are the most amoral on campus, even beating
>out law students.

Any cites to such studies?

> It doesn't take a genius to infer that their
>professors are likewise the most amoral on campus. Amorality is the
>True Gospel of Economics,

Can't that also be said of the hard sciences? And for most other
social sciences as well? If any of these disciplines stops being
amoral, then it starts bending its teachings to the moral or immoral
ends that it espouses. (Ending up with a distortion like creationism.)

--
Alex -- Replace "nospam" with "mail" to reply by email. Checked infrequently.

alexy

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Aug 27, 2007, 5:31:13 PM8/27/07
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professorchaos <profess...@houston.rr.com> wrote:

>You can't prove this or anything else to be amoral.

That's silly. "2+2=4" is a completely amoral statement.


> That is a normative
>statement that can not be tested. Every has a different ideal of
>morality based on our background and experiences.

True, which is why what appears moral to one person is immoral to
another. But no judgement is involved in saying that "2+2=4" is an
amoral statement.

professorchaos

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Aug 27, 2007, 6:16:31 PM8/27/07
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alexy wrote:
> ro...@telus.net wrote:
>
>
>> Research by psychologists has shown
>> that economics students are the most amoral on campus, even beating
>> out law students.
>
> Any cites to such studies?
>
>> It doesn't take a genius to infer that their
>> professors are likewise the most amoral on campus.

If you are a fan of intelligent design or creationism, I think you would
say the biologist have economist beat by a long shot. :)

Rob.Vi...@itt.com

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Aug 28, 2007, 2:33:29 AM8/28/07
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On Aug 27, 5:05 pm, professorchaos <professorch...@houston.rr.com>
wrote:

> Rob.Vienn...@itt.com wrote:

> > I don't know why this anonymous supposed professor wants to proclaim
> > his more-than-ignorance.

> >http://robertvienneau.blogspot.com/2006/09/does-studying-mainstream-e...

> [ non sequiturs and lies - deleted ]

> > Clearly the American Economic Association doesn't care if their
> > members are liars and thieves. They have no sense of professional
> > ethics. But I don't think most mainstream economists consciously
> > lie all the time. Many, I suspect, are ignorant of their ignorance -
> > "ignorance squared" as it has been called.

> Just because you are not member doesn't mean they are liars. You
> actually have to have a degree in economics or be a grad student to be a
> member.

I suspect that if I wanted to send a fee in, they would let me join.

> Excluding people who do not part of the profession is no way
> amoral or make the AEA liars. Does the state bar allow people who are

> not lawyers in? Does the AMA let people without a MD degree in? NO..

> You have no idea of what the AEA does do you? It is not a professional
> licensing association. It is a forum for economist to discuss ideas.
> The AEA does not sanction anyone to be an economist nor do they have to

> give their blessing to practice like the AMA, AICPA, or state bar does...

> I think that someone who spends their time posting a blog that is
> doesn't give its readers a clue of what is talking about and wants to
> show that some paper that never mentions morality somehow proves
> economist are amoral, by a definition he does not give, is a kook.

> [More non sequiturs and lies - deleted.]

> ...Morality is not a scientific argument it can not be


> scientifically proven, see Ken Arrow's work particularly the
> Arrow impossibility theory.

Arrow's impossibility theorem does not show morality cannot
be scientifically proven.

> [More non sequiturs and lies - deleted.]

An illiterate, incoherent, self-contradictory, ignorant, and
soi-dissant economist posting to sci.econ from Houston - I
think those of us hanging around here long enough might
guess who this is.

"professorchaos" might as well tell us his name. By the way,
John, have you found a committee willing to suffer through
your thesis and condescend to grant you a PhD?

Andy F.

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Aug 28, 2007, 6:33:37 AM8/28/07
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"professorchaos" <profess...@houston.rr.com> wrote in message
news:46d32764$0$15370$4c36...@roadrunner.com...

The bit where you're most obviously wrong is where you claim that
immigration keeps housing prices down.


Joshua Cranmer

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Aug 28, 2007, 11:15:10 AM8/28/07
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Andy F. wrote:
> The bit where you're most obviously wrong is where you claim that
> immigration keeps housing prices down.
>

My understanding is that the construction industry has a relatively high
percentage of illegal immigrants working for relatively low wages. Cost
of labor goes down implies that the cost of a new home goes down. Of
course, the effect tends to be masked in relative bubble situations.

professorchaos

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Aug 28, 2007, 12:41:08 PM8/28/07
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Rob.Vi...@itt.com wrote:

>
>> ...Morality is not a scientific argument it can not be
>> scientifically proven, see Ken Arrow's work particularly the
>> Arrow impossibility theory.
>
> Arrow's impossibility theorem does not show morality cannot
> be scientifically proven.
>

On the contrary, it shows that a moral statement can not be
scientifically proven to better than another moral statement. Which is
why you can not prove morality. You can not measure it and you can not
test if one person's idea of morality is better than another person's.

The idea comes strongly in economics when efficiency is discussed. We
come dangerously close to the line of making moral judgments. However,
in this case the moral judgment is made before hand. It is the judgment
that unitarianism is desirable. In efficiency analysis it is assumed
that all resource being employed to their best ability is desirable.
Showing a market is inefficient does not mean that people will see it as
undesirable. It says nothing about people's idea of fairness nor if the
product being sold is a product that offends people's morality, like
prostitution or drugs. After the judgment that efficiency is desirable
is made economics backs out of the morality game.

Lets say that during the 1830's in the US that slave owners didn't have
the clout to pass the ban of importation of slaves or that abolitionist
realized this law actually help solidify the institution of slavery. The
reason being is it shut out foreign competition and kept slaves that had
been freshly captured, who were often warriors that would start revolts,
out of the market. Instead a tariff on slaves was pushed to help
mitigate the effects of imported slaves. Efficiency analysis could show
the gain that producers of slaves would get from the law and the loss to
consumers of slaves. However, it says nothing about if slavery is
desirable. I would hope most people today would say who cares about the
losses and gains slavery is amoral yet efficiency can make no such
judgment just tell about the cost and benefits. Efficiency says nothing
about fairness nor does any economic principle. Economist may speak of
fairness but they are not using economic methods when they do.

I really don't think you fully understand what I am saying. Sure if made
judgments about what is moral or amoral before hand you can measure
people's behavior and see if it is moral TO YOUR DEFINITION. The problem
is that definition of morality is always arguable. You can not measure
the morality of an action. You can not scientifically say this action is
more moral than another action. Any ordinal classification you give can
not be proven to be correct. Non-Hindus believe it is moral to eat beef
Hindus do not. So can we really say it is more moral to eat beef than
pork just because we are in the mindset of the Jewish or Islamic
religion. You can but you can not scientifically prove it.


professorchaos

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Aug 28, 2007, 12:55:21 PM8/28/07
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Rob.Vi...@itt.com wrote:

> "professorchaos" might as well tell us his name.

Leopold Butters. Butters that's me! I suppose you have never watched
South Park is assuming someone posting as professor chaos is a
professor. I do not have that title. I made a decision sometime ago that
I would be happier in a profession devoted solely to research rather
than teaching 3 or 4 sections of principles a semester and have to split
time between trying to give quality teaching and do quality research.
Usually with high course loads one gives a little. I have respect for
those who do that, I just decided it was not for me. I still teach
principles, one maybe 2 sections a semester, but it is not my full time
job. I do still enjoy teaching so I volunteer my time to do so. It
definitely isn't because of the great part time pay. However, I am not a
professor barring huge career change and devoting my spare time to
adding to my publications, I doubt I will ever hold that title.


Lantern

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Aug 28, 2007, 3:45:05 PM8/28/07
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On Aug 27, 12:12 pm, professorchaos <professorch...@houston.rr.com>
wrote:

> Bank money is what happens to your money when you deposit. The loan is
> turned into money when it is used and deposited into a checking or
> savings account. >

Not exactly. You say, "The loan is turned into money when it is
deposited." There's my point. Loan money is turned into DEBT. I want
to see some kind of term that means money to spend...free and clear
money you can spend and not have to pay it back. How about inventing
the term "cancerous money" ... money that has a cancer, it must be
paid back and with interest. How about using the term "encumbered
money". Citizens must not be led to think borrowed money is money to
be spent carelessly, it must be paid back and with ...horrors...
interest. Especially politicians must get over the concept that, "The
government has plenty of money.. an unlimited supply. The government
can just print more anytime." You learned it here. :)

ro...@telus.net

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Aug 28, 2007, 4:47:40 PM8/28/07
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On Mon, 27 Aug 2007 17:23:03 -0400, alexy <nos...@asbry.net> wrote:

>ro...@telus.net wrote:
>
>>Research by psychologists has shown
>>that economics students are the most amoral on campus, even beating
>>out law students.
>
>Any cites to such studies?

Rob posted one. I'm sure Google can find others.

>> It doesn't take a genius to infer that their
>>professors are likewise the most amoral on campus. Amorality is the
>>True Gospel of Economics,
>Can't that also be said of the hard sciences? And for most other
>social sciences as well?

No. Science -- real science -- is entirely based on a basic moral
injunction: thou shalt not lie. Economists in general do not accept
that moral foundation of science. If it is more profitable for
economists to tell the lies that favor the financial interests of the
rich than to tell the truth, which of course it is, then they tell the
lies. What "immoral"? They are just responding to the incentives!
Prof Chaos is a good example of this phenomenon.

-- Roy L

ro...@telus.net

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Aug 28, 2007, 5:02:32 PM8/28/07