1 Aug 2012

Scientific Progress

Dear Economist,

You seem to be confused by what scientific progress looks like. You would do well to look at the search for the Higgs. Today's headline is:
Higgs boson results from LHC
'get even stronger'

See, in a science one uses one's theories to predict a real world result. And if the real world is different one has to change one's model. If the model is consistently wrong over a period of decades then you really have to wonder don't you? Could it be founded on some wrong assumption or other?

If one predicts, for instance, a period of plain sailing, and the next moment there is a major global economic crisis that ought to be cause to throw out the models and go back to the drawing board. That kind of catastrophic failure to predict a major event is a bad sign. What we're seeing at the moment is

Economic results from Neo-classical Economics 'get even weaker'.

And the problem is that if Peter Higgs had been wrong it wouldn't really have mattered. Building the LHC was costly but provided many jobs and we learned a lot. When economists are wrong we get some pretty bad downstream effects on the people in the real world.

It's time for economists to put their hands up and admit they got it badly wrong and that really they didn't and don't understand the real economy. An apology would be nice, but you know it's never as satisfying if you have to ask for it, eh?

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Keep is seemly & on-topic. Thanks.