Why did changes in the legal minimum wage scarcely impact employment in the US but have a significant impact in France? The answer, for anyone who knows anything about either country is that the French changes were not cosmetic and were in fact genuine real wage increases. In the US they were cosmetic and, furthermore, scope for capital deepening was greater because of scale economies and higher mobility. However, there is a narrow but not niggardly market for hacks who ignore the obvious and just babble modish nonsense.
Tim Bergin is a financial journalist. That's one step lower than an academic economist on the I.Q scale. He writes in Aeon-
For the workers who are curious why their wages have not increased in the past decade –
and whose spouses or parents aren't continually telling them it is coz they are as stupid as shit and utterly lack any sense of enterprise or get up and go
while the incomes of some, such as footballers, have soared
celebrity footballers- sure. But signing up a star means you can raise much more money and keep a cut
– the Bank of England’s website has a reassuring message:
Coz guys in dead end jobs are constantly jerking off to stuff on the Bank of England website- right? No doubt, they also turn to the Oscars website to get the reassuring message that they aren't Movie stars and thus should not bother attending the ceremonies to perform the chore of having to accept an award and then give an embarrassing speech.
‘There is a method to this madness: the economic theory of supply and demand’.
If you haven't had a raise in a long time it is because nobody is demanding to employ you at a higher wage in some other role. Don't be a shmuck. Make yourself attractive to better paying employers or move elsewhere.
The bank’s website provides an ‘idiot’s guide’ to the economy that explains how ‘Supply and demand is a bit like an economist’s version of the law of gravity. It decides how much everything costs: a cup of coffee, a house and even your salary.’
But we all already know this. Thus, when you ask for a raise, you mention how much another company has offered you. If your boss can't match it, you walk. But this involves getting others to demand your services. This is something we all understand. It is easier to get married, if the other party is aware that you are much in demand. If nobody likes you, it is more difficult to get hitched. The same is true about popularity. Peeps who are 'in demand' get invited to more parties which in turn makes them more 'in demand'.
The US Federal Reserve Bank provides similar explainers for Americans who
were actually looking for porn
want to understand how their country’s wealth is created or allocated, including a colourful downloadable infographic that shows how higher prices create additional supplies of goods,
rather than teens going ass to mouth
and lower prices create additional demand. On its website, the International Monetary Fund notes that supply, demand and price are ‘magic words’ that make the economist’s ‘heart beat faster’.
whereas for sensible people, those magic words are bukkake or tentacle porn.
For the economists in the neoclassical tradition, as most are, the world can be understood as a series of supply-and-demand curves – the X-shaped graphs that Alfred Marshall first made for his book Principles of Economics (1890) and that now litter almost every chapter of almost every economics textbook. Humans might be occasionally irrational but, en masse, orthodox economics says they respond to prices in a consistent and proportional way.
They respond to rewards and punishments- unless they feel they deserve to be punished or no longer find anything rewarding.
People have what economists call ‘price elasticities’
If they respond to price changes- sure. But they may not do so
that make their behaviour predictable and open to manipulation.
But those elasticities can only be discovered after the fact. As for 'manipulation', why limit your paranoia? Why not suggest that everybody is being controlled by the neighbor's cat?
Other factors such as technology, taste, the weather and institutions can also influence human economic behaviour. But economists see their impact either as modest or predictable, and thus capable of being factored in to supply-and-demand models.
Why? An economist may be paid a little money to advise on price changes. In return for that payment, the fellow may say- 'if you raise prices, people will buy less. They will go to your competitor'. On the other hand, if you pay a witchdoctor, he might say 'If you sacrifice a goat to Satan, your competitor's dick will fall off'.
This neoclassical perspective is widely, although not uniformly, accepted by world political leaders.
Coz it inspires more confidence in voters than getting naked at a Satanic orgy and chopping the head of a goat while demanding that Beelzebub bite off your rival's dick.
It informs and underpins policies on taxation, spending, labour market regulation, health, the environment and more.
That's a good thing. The alternative is lots of goats getting slaughtered and Beelzebub biting dicks off.
The problem, and a key reason why economic policy often fails, is that, while Isaac Newton’s law of gravity can predict behaviour at all times anywhere on this planet, these and other supposed economic laws often fail.
This is nonsense. Particle accelerators exist on earth. That's why we use 'modified Newtonian dynamics' but with a new generation of accelerators, MOND too may be modified.
Take labour markets: the Bank of England’s and the US Federal Reserve’s claims that supply and demand determine wage rates, and that wage rates determine labour supply and demand, is not based on the best evidence. Economists know this too (we’ll get to that soon).
This is bizarre. Central Banks play role in setting wages. They publish reports from time to time with the aim of affecting expectations re interest rates. But publishing reports is not their function any more than providing coffee and biscuits is their function though, no doubt, such items may be provided to staff.
According to these supposed economics ‘laws’ (and a cheery video on the Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis’s website), higher wages make people work more, and lower wages discourage people from seeking employment.
But nobody gives a shit about the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. So what if they have a crap video on their website?
In the real world, however, study after study over the decades has failed to find evidence of people working longer hours in response to higher net wages (be that through direct salary increases or tax cuts).
But those studies were shit. What econ says is 'ceteris paribus'- other things being equal- higher prices increase supply. But other things may not be equal. In particular, the 'Income effect' of a price change may swamp the 'substitution effect'.
Over the long term, the data even more strongly tell us that labour supply does not respond to wage rates.
Fuck off! The data shows labour supply increased coz peeps came emigrating to America coz real wages were higher. Ask any immigrant if he is working harder now then when he was back home having three siestas a day.
Since the mid-19th century, real wage rates have risen sharply but hours worked by individuals have fallen significantly.
But lots more people have turned up in those places. So total hours worked have increased.
The labour supply curve doesn’t slope up as the supposed economic ‘laws’ dictate but downward.
Nonsense! It does in aggregate. People from all over the world turn up wherever wages are high and rising. On the other hand, for any given individual, the 'Income effect' of a higher wage could increase leisure preference. However, such individuals could also have market power such that their own reduction of labor supply raises their rate. That's why the guys at the top play more golf while those in the middle slog away all hours.
To put it in terms the Bank of England might understand, the labour supply curve defies gravity.
The Bank of England doesn't worry about wage inflation because we aint living in the fucking Seventies. Trade Union leaders aren't constantly popping into 10 Downing Street for 'beer and sandwiches'. On the other hand, the Government does need to raise wages for nurses and other people who have increased work-load due to COVID. No doubt, the cretin writing this for Aeon would not approve. We don't need to raise the reward for nurses. They will be happy to just work for free.
In practical terms, this means that if policymakers are trying, for example, to bring more women into the labour market,
Why the fuck would they want to do that? Women have shown that they aint shy or retarded creatures who have to lured out of their homes and cajoled or cudgeled into making themselves useful. It is a different matter that policy makers may want to virtue signal by saying that is what they are trying to do. But then, almost all the time, policies are shit which shitheads 'make'.
then assessing the issue via the lens of neoclassical supply-and-demand curves is unlikely to help them formulate effective solutions.
Cool. Don't raise the wages for women. Cut them. Let them work for free. That sure will be great for the economy.
Hence the failure of so many tax cuts or relaxations of employment protection rules to nudge the economies in Europe and North America towards higher employment and growth levels.
People whose taxes are cut don't give a fuck what claim is made in order to make it happen. Less employment protection means lower 'compliance costs' which means more profit. Why pretend that the guys who finance politicians aint doing it in order to have more money.
Labour supply is more a function of culture and institutions than price,
So let's not pay the workers. Just give them the right type of culture and nice Institutions- like Labor Camps.
and this is not a new idea.
Cult leaders have always known about how brain-washing can get you a slave labor force.
In 1978, the American Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert Solow stated plainly that the neoclassical article of faith that all markets clear – which is to say, settle on a price, where demand and supply are matched – was nonsense.
Wow! The guy discovered that 'gluts' occur only five thousand years after everybody else did. Markets don't clear. Sometimes there's just more fish, or grapes than people can consume.
‘It is plain as the nose on my face that the labour market and many markets for produced goods do not clear in any meaningful sense,’ Solow wrote.
Which nobody who lived through the Great Depression didn't know.
The failure of the neoclassical framework to explain important segments of economic life hasn’t dented economists’ faith in the universal applicability of supply and demand curves.
But supply and demand curves which hit the horizontal axis before they can meet- i.e. the market does not clear- are easy to draw. In the Labor market, wage can't go to zero because workers have to eat in order to work. So some get jobs. Some don't.
In the past 40 years or so, in fact, the trend has been to claim that such economic principles apply to more and more domains of life.
But, in the past 40 years, people have stopped paying any fucking attention to economists precisely because of globalized markets.
Dig even a little into the data on tobacco taxes, and one is hit by some anomalies
Why dig at all? Like duties on alcohol or petrol, the thing was about revenue.
Up to the 1980s, for example, smoking was seen as driven by cultural factors and the product’s addictive nature – researchers even struggled to get funding for studies that sought to investigate whether price could influence consumption.
Researchers struggling to get funding are as stupid as shit. Smoking like drinking
But at the turn of the millennium, convinced by a raft of economic studies claiming to have established that smokers in developed countries had a clear and fixed ‘price elasticity’ with respect to tobacco, the World Health Organization declared price to be ‘the single most effective way to decrease tobacco use’. And, indeed, since 1980, real tobacco prices have increased as a result of taxes, and people are smoking less.
But Governments raised taxes to get revenue. Nobody gives a shit about the WHO- for very good reasons, as COVID has shown.
Yet dig even a little into the data on tobacco taxes, and one is hit by some anomalies. Firstly, economists claim that the short-term price elasticity of demand for tobacco is around 0.4, and in the long term around 1 (meaning that a 1 per cent price drop would cause a 1 per cent rise in demand). If this is accurate, it means price increases drove the vast majority, or all, of the drop in smoking that occurred over the past 40 years. Given that in surveys most people say they quit for health reasons, this seems a stretch.
This is silly. When ciggies were cheap, peeps were constantly lighting up and then immediately stubbing them out- like in the old timey movies. People who didn't like ciggies still had ciggies. My parents didn't smoke but there was always a fresh pack of Benson & Hedges in the fancy Burmese Silver Cigarette tray.
Second, the fact is that the pace of price increases and smoking rates are not well correlated. For example, the real price of cigarettes in Britain was lower in 1990 than in 1965, but per-capita consumption was 20 per cent lower.
Because pipes were still cool in the Sixties. Harold Wilson's pipe was considered sexy. By the Eighties only old men (and me) smoked pipes and the duty on them was much lower because pensioners were poorer back then. Still, it is true that people were quitting smoking or not taking it up because the English had become conscious that having horrible teeth and disgusting breath was reducing their chances of a bunk-up. Anyway, it was the char-lady who always had a fag protruding from the side of her face.
On the other hand, some bulimic Sloanes and wannabe ballerinas were smoking like chimneys because they thought this would keep them thin.
What really changed, beginning in the 2000s, was the culture around smoking.
And what really changed that culture was economic forces.
The greatest indictment of the application of neoclassical price theory to smoking is the way those people with the least financial incentive to respond to the price signal appear to have responded most strongly, while those with the strongest incentive were not impelled to react. Today, in affluent neighbourhoods in Britain smoking rates are under 10 per cent, whereas in some poor ones it’s 50 per cent.
Because tobacco is a 'Giffen good'. As with other staples or addictive substances, as the poor pay more for it they have less to spend on other things with the result that they buy more of it. Currently you have a steak and a baked potato. Potato prices rise. You end up buying two potatoes and no steak to fill your tummy- if you are an abject loser. But there will always be an underclass of losers.
If neoclassical theory were sound, those numbers would be reversed.
No. We expect richer people to have more access to 'gross substitutes'. We expect the abject and beaten down to have fewer and fewer options.
Around the world, this trend is replicated. That’s a fundamental breach of neoclassical economic principles.
Not if- as cigarette companies do- you properly segment the market and discover the different types of representative agents it contains. Aggregation problems bedevil Econometrics, unless it actually pays somebody to find out the truth.
The consequences of claiming that you’ve scientifically proven that consumption can be proportionately impacted by price manipulations is enormous.
Fuck off! There are no consequences whatsoever. You can claim to have invented Time Travel till you are blue in the face and nobody will pay a blind bit of attention. However if you discover something useful and get very rich, people will beat a path to your door no matter where you hide yourself.
In this case, for example, faith in the theory delayed by years all the health warnings, advertising restrictions and smoking bans – all those measures that really contributed to a denormalisation of smoking.
Fuck off! Governments saw taxes on tobacco as a cash cow. But once price elasticity increased, they had to look at the other side of the picture- viz. higher future spending on health care (sadly, the fucking Doctors were keeping working class males alive after they retired. This meant the Government couldn't cheat them out of their pensions and health entitlements).
Some economists have questioned the profession’s obsession with price.
As opposed to what? Culture? Do we really want Economists to be gassing on about how everybody should listen to Beethoven because this would incline them to work for free?
In the later years of his long life, Ronald Coase,
who studied Commerce, not Econ, at the LSE because he wanted to be a Solicitor
one of the most influential members of the conservative Chicago School of Economics, began to lament how economists in the 20th century had gone down the rabbit hole of focusing on price sensitivity.
Price sensitivity is about opportunity cost- i.e. what substitutes are available. Globalization means there are more substitutes. Elasticity increases. Pricing suddenly becomes very important. Ask the Rust Belt. They priced themselves out of the market and are now feeling very sorry for themselves.
Coase's theorem, properly understood, says 'who owns what doesn't matter'. All that matters is who has the higher opportunity cost for a given resource. He can pay the other guy to use it or Society could allocate it to him. Provided deals can be made, deals will be made.
He said that, rather than studying real-world wealth creation, as early economists such as Adam Smith sought to do, their successors had focused on building mathematical models of the world and probing datasets to find correlations consistent with the models.
Smith didn't make money. Ricardo did. Wealth creation was well enough understood because a lot of it was going on wherever you looked. Meanwhile a few people looking to enter service industries like the Law or Accountancy or the Government Bureaucracy or Journalism took a few courses in Econ at Uni. That's it. That's the whole story.
Coase didn’t consider such work to be empirical, dismissing it as ‘blackboard economics’.
Coase, as a student of Sir Arnold Plant, had looked at how firms work and realized they 'internalize externalities'. However, if taxes or compliance costs increase, they can disaggregate and use contracts of adhesion to escape exploitation.
In the past two decades, there’s been a turn against ‘blackboard economics’. Some younger economists have made careers out of going out and studying the world as it actually is, and deriving an economics – insights, conclusions and solutions – based on this empirical work.
Fuck making careers. Did they or did they not become mega-billionaires? That's the only question we are interested in. We all now understand that you are only a good economist if you are either making billions or saving somebody billions. Having a career talking stupid shite is about as impressive as making money off perverts on the internet who pay for live-cam footage of you taking a dump.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of California, Berkeley have been especially prodigious in producing such economists.
While China has risen and risen.
Isaiah Andrews, one of these new ‘empiricists’, won the 2021 John Bates Clark Medal – the most distinguished economics prize in the United States. Andrews has worked on the problem of publication bias – whereby research that confirmed prior beliefs could have a better chance of being accepted by academic journals.
So the guy won a prize for showing that the stuff for which the prize is being awarded is worthless shit. Cool.
Melissa Dell, another of the new ‘empiricists’, won the 2020 Clark Medal for work that highlighted the importance of institutions in the development of economies.
And Clarissa Bell will win for highlighting the importance of economies for the development of Institutions and then Galissa Jell will win one for highlighting the importance of importance.
Her award signalled a real shift.
Or an imaginary lift.
For almost a century, the economics establishment has downplayed the role of institutions, in part because institutional factors don’t easily fit into the mathematical models that generate precise, scientific-looking results.
Actually, there is no difficulty in putting in proxies for them.
The 2012 Clark medallist, Amy Finkelstein, has used randomised controlled trials in healthcare to understand how people use and are impacted by insurance coverage.
Though everybody else already understood this and then some.
Her work has revealed how such markets can defy the laws of supply and demand,
This is nonsense. Her big discovery was that having health insurance improves health. However, everybody already knew that going to the Doctor improves health and that having medical insurance means you avail of medical remedies more often.
Without demand and supply there is no market. It can't defy shit because it doesn't exist.
and shows that government intervention can help address market failures.
Or create them.
Markets don’t respond, as neoclassical theory claims, to the sudden hike in wage rates
Yes they do. Short run elasticity may be low. Long term it is high.
Another indication that economists have at last moved to study the world as it is, the award of the 2021 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences went to three empirical economists including David Card. Few people have been at the receiving end of the economic establishment’s ire as much as Card.
Utterly false. Card is a quiet Canadian who doesn't make waves. His work on post 1980 Cuban migrants to Miami, which did not greatly lower wages for the unskilled, is seen as pro-immigration which is what most economists are- either because they are of immigrant ancestry or because they are right wing or because of political correctness.
However Card's work was obvious shit. Everybody had seen 'Scarface'. The knew about cocaine. The fact is the Cubans were both creating businesses and staffing them in a segregated manner. Consider the following- In 1977, Cubans owned 7 336 businesses in the Miami-Hialeah area, most of them in services, retail trade, and construction. By 1992, Cubans owned 46 900 firms. Clearly Card was a silly man- but all Nobel Prize winning Economists are silly.
When Card’s work was first published, one Nobel laureate declared it ‘equivalent to a denial that there is even minimal scientific content in economics’.That was Buchanan who was pretty old. I suppose he meant that this type of cherry picking made the profession look ideological, not scientific. But that boat had sailed over a decade previously.
Until the early 1990s, the accepted orthodoxy among liberal and conservative economists was that the minimum wage killed jobs.
No. What changed is that Union power had declined and so minimum wage laws could no longer be used to limit employer's ability to outsource which in turn reduced Union enrollment in a virtuous circle that broke the back of that beast. The problem was that the minimum wage would have to be linked to the 'replacement rate'- i.e. there would be a knock on effect on Social Security and other such entitlements.
One reason this whole issue doesn't greatly matter any more is that Federal States are extracting less and less from all but the upper quartile though immigration distorts this to some extent. This means that minimum wages are part and parcel of local 'Tiebout sorting'. But this will favor indigenous people in various ways- in other words Labor won't be a commodity market.
It simply had to, because the laws of supply and demand said the measure pushed the price of labour above the so-called ‘equilibrium wage ‘or clearing wage at which supply and demand were matched.
No doubt, there was a lot of hypocrisy- not to mention downright ignorance- in the profession. Still, back in the Eighties, it was not at all obvious that Unions might not make a comeback and increase their market power by raising the price of the substitute.
Card and his colleague Alan Krueger conducted studies that found, in a number of cases, that meaningful increases in the minimum wage had not led to lower employment in fast-food restaurants – the type of business commonly affected by the measure.
But the type and ownership of fast-food restaurants changed. In some cases there was capital deepening, in others there was increased self-employment or the substitution of those beneath the age of coverage.
The research received a lot of publicity, and near total rejection by some of the most eminent economists, for example Gary Becker, Robert Barro and James Buchanan, who likened colleagues who accepted Card’s work to ‘camp-following whores’.
They needn't have bothered. Unions were dead in the water. The supposedly pro-Labor political parties didn't want to listen to Union bosses because they were stupid or evil or both stupid and evil. Still, political parties will take money from anybody- no matter how repulsive.
In any case, it didn't matter what type of drive by regression you did to get your Junk Social Science PhD, new technology was making skills of that sort reasonably remunerative. Indeed, smart guys like Bezos could make big money out of Econ PhDs.
History, however, has been on Card’s side. Study after study (140 in the UK alone) has found that even large increases in the minimum wage have failed to lift unemployment.
These are meaningless studies. If you have eyes in your head- or just ears to catch all the new foreign languages being spoken on the streets- to realize that ceteris has not been paribus.
Labour and product markets don’t respond, as neoclassical theory claims, to the sudden hike in wage rates.
So lets not raise the wages of nurses in the NHS. See how that works out. This is the other side of the coin.
First, employers in the US and Europe have reported that they can easily pass on minimum wage increases to customers.
In the short-run- sure. Then China eats your lunch and suddenly everybody is flipping pizzas for Chinese tourists and thus too busy to wonder when it all began to go wrong.
To ‘blackboard’ economists this makes no sense – after all, if customers were prepared to accept higher prices, the companies would have already tried to increase them. But it appears the wage hike fundamentally changes the behaviour of both employer and customer in a way for which theory cannot account.Yes it can. Previously, there was a Nash equilibrium. After the public signal re. minimum wages, there was an Aumann correlated equilibrium.
In effect, we see that consumers of services or goods do not have fixed preferences; they either do not have a price elasticity of demand, or it’s so subject to change that estimates of it are as useless as predictive tools.
Rubbish. Smart people get rich because they have an intuition as to the direction of that elasticity though its computation is in a higher time class. Econ isn't like Physics. Ordinary people have never met a quark. But guys who don't know the meaning of 'Shapley value' have better intuition for what it might be, than any game theorist, in contexts familiar to them. This is because they have superior ideographic knowledge.
Card’s Nobel Prize is a sign of economics advancing along scientific principles of learning from its previous errors.
No. It is a sign that there's been a big literature on this.
A clearer sign is the fact of governments in the UK and Germany, which had been sceptical about minimum wages, proceeded in 1999 and 2015 respectively to introduce them.
With the result that Income inequality increased.
Yet every introduction of a minimum wage and every above-inflationary increase is met with warnings from the economic establishment.
Who get paid just as this cretin is paid.
For example, when Germany proposed a minimum wage, the state-appointed panel of economic experts known colloquially as Germany’s ‘wise men’ called the suggestion that the measure would not kill jobs ‘a vast illusion’.
It killed a lot of micro firms which raised productivity overall. On the other hand, in some sectors, this may reduce dynamic efficiency. But Germany may have missed that boat anyway. The bigger problem that country faces is the depopulation of the East. However, it should be noted that poverty and welfare dependency have not been affected. There are also some questions about enforcement. It may be that the biggest overall effect will, with hindsight, prove to be reinforcement of an ethnically segregated Labor market.
More recently, the economist Larry Summers warned last year that US President Joe Biden’s proposal for a $15 minimum wage would cause employers to ‘shift away from the most vulnerable and inexperienced workers’, while Britain’s most widely cited economic forecaster, the Institute of Fiscal Studies, warns at least once a year about the potential employment effects of the UK’s typically modest minimum wage increases. Card told me that outside the field of labour economics, where scholars had studied the subject in detail, many of his fellow economists still struggled to accept the findings.
But they still get paid for repeating the same shite year after year, decade after decade. This journalist can then get to recycle this same article ad nauseam.
Incidentally Aeon has very kindly deleted my comment on this crap. I offer it to you here-
Economists know that the Economic theory of Economic credentials emphasizes the worthlessness of the content of what is taught or said. The thing is merely a screening and signalling device. In other words, an Economist is a guy whom for a modest wage, you can get to spout sycophantic drivel while being very very boring and stupid. On the other hand, you can hire quants with a bit of Econ and point them at specific things and pay them quite well while yourself, like Bezos, becoming a mega billionaire. In my experience it is always possible to find one guy- even one with an Econ PhD- who has the sensible solution to the underlying problem. But that’s why you need the other, celebrity-craving, tossers to cater to the demand created both by rent seekers as well as that which would exist for prudential reasons (i.e. we may not want a particular regime to succeed because this will embolden them to do something utterly bonkers). All the examples given in this essay are foolish. They point to the shitty nature of Econometrics, by reason of aggregation problems, not to any great fault with the neo-classical model adjusted for Knightian Uncertainty. Everything mentioned in this essay as an indictment of Marshallian econ was known by the end of the nineteenth century though some technical terms were invented afterwards. Thus the ‘Giffen good’ whose consumption rises amongst the poor (or addicted) as its price rises was known to Marshall though perhaps Slutsky’s analysis of the Income and Substitution effects and Hicks’s work on this were not known. By the late Seventies, almost all the mathematical tools were available to recast Econ theory in perfectly ‘realistic’ terms. However because of Goodhart’s Law type problems it was always the case that Econometrics would harm policy making. Coase, of course, wasn’t Coasian. He originally studied Commerce to become a Solicitor. It is enough to displace Mathematical Econ by a Muth Rational and ‘Hannan Conistent’ type of ‘Law & Econ’ for a perfectly servicable positive Econ to exist. Here, instead of ‘duality’ you would have ‘adjointness’ by reason of not optimization but regret minimization- i.e the thing would be Category Theoretical not stupidly Topological. Why hasn’t this happened? The answer is the same as why Professors of Philosophy or Literature or History or other such ‘sub-Humanities’ are utterly stupid, ignorant and paranoid. Briefly, only careerist cretins will do PhDs in that nonsense and so those subjects have become adversely selective. In Econ, this doesn’t matter at all because computing power and data accessibility have increased exponentially. Smart dudes can just get very very rich and then, like Soros, hire utter imbeciles so as to destroy in advance their own vision for the world. There are some mathsy Economists- Aumann, Myerson even Chichilnisky when young- whom I liked. But then I once rated David Lewis!- but the Maths had moved on and even ignorant hicks like me, thanks to Wiki and Stack Exchange, can now very quickly gain and flesh out superior insights after a bit of Googling while sipping a Rum & Coke. But this is a pretty useless activity befitting only a Socioproctologist- i.e. a guy who gets his jollies by pointing a finger at stupid Academic assholes. Economia is discovery. Akreibia is as Wittlesstein put it ‘shitting higher than your arsehole’. Economists and Economics as a subject should have no impact whatsoever. It is stupid and makes its minions stupider than they need to be. Mimetics- imitating what smart peeps be doin’- is all that matters. Sadly, I am the sole member of the Institute of Socioproctology (where I’ve been demoted to Asst. Director after a Me Too incident involving allegations of self-abuse) and thus Tardean Mimetics rules out any major reform of Econ as a profession. Vide https://socioproctology.