Economics, 17th Edition by Paul A. Samuelson and William D. Nordhaus is the “gold standard” in Economics textbooks to the point where nobody even questions the basic premises. Originally written in 1948, and revised periodically, it is now in its 17th edition. Think about the real sciences – Physics, Chemistry, and how much has been learned and discarded in that time. But not Economics.
Samuelson’s Economics is Keyesian. What’s not to love about it? It is convenient and fits well with the popular belief that all the men are good looking and all the children are above average . Tax and spend your way to prosperity is a politician’s dreams come true. Let the good times roll. There is a free lunch.
Keynesian economics was adequate until the wheels started to fall off the economy. But now, there are cracks and fissures appearing. The explanations in the book don’t explain what is going on around us. Important highly-visible and powerful Economists are saying that they are surprised by the current situation. So the fix must be to apply more of “it” – whatever it is. The notion that the previous actions might have caused the problem in the first place are not being examined. Real experience and data are discarded as anomalous as they don’t fit the Keynesian theories.
Even the award is wrong – Nobel did NOT award a prize for Economics as he didn’t think the subject merited this recognition. Paul A. Samuelson was awarded …
In today’s financial times, it is becoming increasingly clear that, maybe, there ought to another economic worldview. Emperor Samuelson has no clothes…
Make way for citizen academics. Just like citizen journalism, there is a new wave of academic work being done and distributed via the internet by folks without doctorates and accreditation. This is their field of interest. Many have other lives – successful businesses, Engineering degrees, and a real world perspective of world markets and the global financial system. In other words, excellent sources of information.
The Other Economics
There is another explanation that has been put forth and does a much better job of describing a predicting the current outcomes. Though not as high profile, Austrian economics has been studied in parallel with Keynesian theories.