I feel I’ve made it perfectly clear but I think it bears repeating that I am not an Economist. I am a Historian with some background in English and Journalism. Unfortunately that means I had some required studies in Economics, most of it complete and total hogwash except Economics 101 which was Samuelson and Nordhaus (only mostly hogwash except for the parts they stole from Keynes).
Also from the Historical side I’ve read Hobbes, Locke, Smith, and Malthus (all of whom had a better grasp of reality than Hayek) and Marx (not the funny ones from vaudeville). Marx is very misunderstood, he’s not the revolutionary you think (he’s an entirely different kind of revolutionary).
The point is that all of these guys tried to treat Economics as a Science. Based on past results they made predictions about future outcomes of various experiments. Since in the “Social” Sciences (History excepted unless you have a TARDIS) you can’t go around messing with people’s heads like Stanley Milgram did (yup, people will follow orders from some dude in a lab coat to electrocute other people to death in the name of “Science”) because it’s highly unethical (do you really want to live the rest of your life knowing for a fact that that you would have been happy to be an excecutioner at Auschwitz?) you instead rely on “Natural” Experiments, examining closely the Historical Record to compare and contrast the outcome of various policies.
Modern Economics is not like that.
Results don’t matter. We have 40 years of results, uniformly bad (except for Billionaires and Corporations), entirely disproving the theoretical basis that most Economists embrace with greater fervor than Christians the Virgin Birth of The Son Of God (who at the same time is God and also some nebulous spirit acting currently, but the Council of Nicaea is a whole different topic).
The Council of Nicaea may be a whole different topic but the religious faith of Neo Liberals in their failed Economic and Political policies is not. Their belief is not “Science” but “Faith”.
Indeed it is a particular kind of faith, Calvinist Pre-Destination and Salvation of the Elect. If God is omniscient He knows the full course of your life from conception to death. Free will is an illusionary trap of Satan. You are free to choose either the path of righteousness (chastity, thrift, study of God’s Word) or go to Hell.
Literally (yes I know what it means).
How does a faithfull servant discern that they have lived a life of rectitude and probity and will ascend to Heaven and get their pie in the sky by and by? God’s favor in this life. Acting (probably through that Nicaean Holy Spirit thing) in this world which He totally controls (oh, He’s omnipotent too) He can make your ventures prosper.
I call this one Hoofprints-
And so, you see, I’m not a very good Christian though I am classically trained.
Their are Economists I think make sense and one of them is Michael Hudson who has a new book out called J Is For Junk Economics: A Guide to Reality in the Age of Deception. This is a 5 part interview he did with The Real News Network.