Post-Real Economics

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mauldineconomics.com / BY JOHN MAULDIN / JANUARY 29, 2017

“Too large a proportion of recent ‘mathematical’ economics are mere concoctions, as imprecise as the initial assumptions they rest on, which allow the author to lose sight of the complexities and interdependencies of the real world in a maze of pretentious and unhelpful symbols.”
John Maynard Keynes

“Simplicity does not precede complexity, but follows it.”
– Alan Perlis

“Stop trying to change reality by attempting to eliminate complexity.”
– David Whyte

***

One of the most important concepts that my economic, philosophical, and political mentors have drilled into my head is this simple statement: Ideas have consequences. As a corollary to that, bad ideas have bad consequences. Mauldin’s corollary is that bad ideas can often overwhelm good ideas when applied by government bureaucrats, and that long after the market has rejected bad ideas, they may live on in academia and government bureaucracies.

Let me offer a somewhat controversial statement: Economics in general is populated at its core by a lot of bad ideas. And these bad ideas have come to be accepted as the correct interpretation of how the economy functions and thus have become the basis for economic policy.

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