Reklam och rational choice theory

Take a course in economics, they tell you a market is based on informed consumers making rational choices. Anyone who’s ever looked at a TV ad knows that’s not true. In fact if we had a market system an ad say for General Motors would be a brief statement of the characteristics of the products for next year. That’s not what you see. You see some movie actress or a football hero or somebody driving a car up a mountain or something like that. And that’s true of all advertising. The goal is to undermine markets by creating uninformed consumers who will make irrational choices and the business world spends huge efforts on that.

The same is true when the same industry, the PR industry, turns to undermining democracy. It wants to construct elections in which uninformed voters will make irrational choices. It’s pretty reasonable and it’s so evident you can hardly miss it.
It’s another one of those things that ought to be taught in elementary school. It’s kind of embarrassing to talk about something so obvious to a university audience.

Noam Chomsky


F**k You Buddy

Glöm inte antagandena, är det exempelvis rimligt att tro att människor är inkapabla av att empati och att ta hänsyn för andra istället för enbart ens egna intressen?

Nash made the assumption that humans were naturally calculating and always seeking an advantage over their fellows. By applying Game Theory to all forms of human interaction, Nash proved that a society based on mutual suspicion didn’t necessarily lead to chaos, but led to an equilibrium.

Game Theory produced a dark vision of humanity and society as a whole, where everyone was mistrustful of one another. This system could only work if everyone behaved selfishly. As soon as people started co-operating together, instability ensued and this proved to be the case when the system was tested – participants co-operated with each other.

Conflict Connexus


Teori eller fakta, vad gör något sant?

Traditionally, economists have put the facts in a subordinate role and theory in the driver’s seat. Plausible-sounding theories are believed to be true unless proven false, while empirical facts are often dismissed if they don’t make sense in the context of leading theories.

Noah Smith


Matematiken inom ekonomin

Läs Levinovitz utmärkta artikel om problemen med matematiken som används inom ekonomisk teori och hur den ger den ett sken av vetenskaplighet som den inte förtjänar. Gång på gång misslyckas teorierna att beskriva verkligheten, vilket borde vara deras mål. Trots detta förtrollas människor av de säkra slutsatserna och resultaten matematiken hjälper ekonomerna att ge inom deras modellskapelser, slutsatser och förutsägelser som allt för ofta inte har något att säga om verkligheten utan enbart beskriver den lilla modellvärlden ekonomen byggt på antaganden utan någon som helst relation till verkligheten. Om någon förändring ska ske för att nationalekonomi ska kunna utvecklas måste en ta itu med dessa allvarliga brister, för detta är Levinovitz artikel en bra start att börja.

If overhauling economics depended solely on economists, then mathiness, conflict of interest and sunk-cost bias could easily prove insurmountable. Fortunately, non-experts also participate in the market for economic theory. If people remain enchanted by PhDs and Nobel Prizes awarded for the production of complicated mathematical theories, those theories will remain valuable. If they become disenchanted, the value will drop.

Alan Jay Levinovitz


Modern Money Theory, återupplivande av förlorade lärdommar