Thursday, August 04, 2011

The Perfect Storm

I've been warning about this for some years now, but we really do seem to be moving towards the end game for western economic dominance now as concerns about the US economy lead to massive falls in stock markets around the world.

Anyone who has read this blog for a while will know that I don't have a lot of faith in the idea of using the stock markets as a reliable economic indicator - but what they are good for is getting an idea of the confidence in the prognostications of various politicians, chancellors and economists. And the confidence in those people seem to be pretty low.

I'm not surprised. After the murmurings of social scientists I place the meanderings of economists as one of the least trustworthy areas of "expertise" there is. The trouble with economists - similar to social scientists - is that they can never give a straight answer to a straight question.

If you ask an aeronautical engineer if an aeroplane design will fly he will tell you yes or no. If you ask an electronic engineer whether a design for a new circuit board will do what it is supposed to he will tell you yes or no. If you ask an economist if an economic plan will work you will get a maybe.

That wouldn't be so bad if they admitted that their "science" - just like social science - isn't really science at all. It's just guesswork based on assumptions none of which are certain or proven. They try to convince us that there is some sort of proper theory behind all their gibberish with macroeconomics this and microeconomics that - but there isn't. It is all bullshit.

When Maggie Thatcher came to power she understood that the best "economists" in the country weren't working at the major investment banks - they were the humble housewives of Britain. People who understood that if you spend more than you earn you will end up with debt and that debt was something to be avoided as much as possible.

But since the early nineties we've thrown the simple economics of the housewife into the rubbish bin and fallen for the charms of snake oil salesman masquerading as knowledgeable people - but their theories were flawed. Very flawed.

What started off as a Greek tragedy rapidly became an Irish joke and now seems to be spreading into an Italian comedy - but the ultimate result will be, I believe, the end of the American dream and that will have an impact on the whole of western democratic society.

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