Home > Uncategorized > Most of what passes for “economics” is dogma of the “We Will Help You!” religion of the State

Most of what passes for “economics” is dogma of the “We Will Help You!” religion of the State

[Copied from a Facebook post, that was itself bumped up from a Facebook comment on a thread on the role of religion in society]

In response to an observation/inquiry from Marie:

What most people think is “economics” and many of those involved in it as a professional or as a policy wonk certainly IS “full of religious and quasi-religious formulations. Is there anything that is fact based about economics?” Most of the “fact-based” stuff REFERS to facts, but is in fact not well-grounded at the micro level on an understanding how people actually behave.

Fortunately, there IS a growing focus on studying HOW people perceive, think and act, both individually and embedded within our groups, mores, and institutions. Behavioral economists and others are looking at human behavior and those in the “New Institutional Economics” school (represented by 2009 Nobel Prizewinners Elinor ‪#‎Ostrom and Oliver E. Williamson; this includes “Public Choice and “Austrian” economists) are studying and publishing on entrepreneurship, social capital, moral hazard, regulatory capture, crony capitalism, fiat currencies, individual and group plan formation, markets, “bounded rationality,” the “information problem,” “principal-agent problems,” etc. THIS is REAL economics, as a human science examining how we interact.

The “Workshop on the Ostroms, the Commons and Polycentric Self-Governance” is a page that I have been putting together in celebration of Lin Ostrom’s life and to explore the insights that she and her many and growing collaborators have: https://www.facebook.com/WorkshoponOstromsCommonsandSelfGovernance?ref_type=bookmark

In addition, The Collaborative Center Community/#CCC, where Marie raised her question, is a group intended for “anyone who is dissatisfied with the state of society, and is willing to build trans-partisan coalitions to fight (1) for stronger, more vital communities and (2) against corruption and crony capitalism. Divided, we are falling/failing, while those who control the increasingly concentrated and coercive levers of power continue both to thrive and to insulate themselves from the problems that they generate and perpetuate. For corrective action, we must act TOGETHER. This group is for people who are willing to reach across partisan aisles to connect with others who are also troubled by corporatism and loss of personal influence in the communities in which we live.”

I hope those of you who have troubled yourself to read even this far will also check out #CCC, which I hope will help redirect people from unproductive and hostile partisanship: https://www.facebook.com/groups/265938633573148/

I note that the Vision Statement of the #Ostrom Award provides a good start in exploring the empirically based economics of Elinor Ostrom and her collaborators:

The presidential address to the American Political Science Association in 1997
Understanding Institutional Diversity
“Governing the Commons”
The Nobel lecture
The PNAS article on panaceas
Managing the Commons: Payment for Environmental Services.
Articles on the SES framework

For Practitioners
“Resources, Rights, and Cooperation: A Sourcebook on Property rights and collective action for sustainable development”. CAPRI, 2010.
Managing the Commons: Conservation of Biodiversity.
Managing the Commons: Markets, Commodity Chains and Certification.
Managing the Commons: Indigenous Rights, Economic Development and Identity.
Managing the Commons: Payment for Environmental Services.


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