Re: CAMREC: The 'no supply-demand curve' sign

From: the Campaign for Real Economics (
Date: Thu Oct 19 2000 - 18:53:45 BST

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    From: the Campaign for Real Economics <>
    Date: Thu, 19 Oct 2000 12:53:45 -0500
    Subject: Re: CAMREC: The 'no supply-demand curve' sign


    At 11:25 AM 10/19/00 +0100, you wrote:
    >I raise issues of what constitutes good science and what constitutes bad
    >science. Bad science makes unjustified and unjustifiable claims about its
    >subject. Economics is bad science because formal properties of its core
    >ensure that the assumptions of the theory cannot be validated and there is no
    >evidence that its implications (or predictions) can be validated.
    >Consequently, economics tells us nothing about it purported target systems.

    "..., Economics tells us nothing..." seems a bit harsh. It may not explain
    much, but it does 'justify' a system of beliefs that has limited the
    political importance of glorified gangs of thugs. If you are saying
    'supply/demand curves tells us little about how to improve our
    understanding of wealth creation and ecology maintenance,' I'd agree.

    As to economics being 'bad science,' I'd agree. On the other hand, I don't
    take it's claim to be a science very seriously. Economics is firmly rooted
    in the philosophical tradition. Economists are often called 'worldly
    philosophers.' Adam Smith was a professor of moral philosophy and wrote
    'Theory of Moral Sentiments' (1759) seventeen years before 'Wealth of
    Nations' (1776).

    >I think the first few steps are asserted to be plausible (higher prices induce
    >people to consume less and sellers to offer more).

    I wouldn't even agree this example provides much assistance. There are too
    many cases where higher prices cause higher demand.

    I guess my own interest relates to ecological dynamics. I'm interested in
    how clan, tribe, nation and international rules for behavior influence
    ecological change. That's why microscopic modeling interests me, it offers
    a way to introduce small scale rules and study their impact at macroscopic
    levels. The philosophical gloss of supply/demand assumptions always seem
    to devolve into ethnocentric positions.


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