12 October 2015

I Can Understand How a Nobel Prize for Corruption Might Appear to Contradict the Organization's Goals

OK, it's isn't technically a Nobel for Corruption, it's the Nobel Prize for Economics, and I agree with Bo Rothstein, who has concluded that the "Nobel Prize for Economics" is completely at odds with the vision of Alfred Nobel:
Bo Rothstein, an important member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, has today in Sweden’s most widely read newspaper called for an immediate declaration of a moratorium on the awarding of Sveriges Riksbank Prize for Economics in the name of Nobel and the Nobel Foundation.

Rothstein’s article argues that today with increasing success, economics as commonly taught in universities and endorsed by most winners of the economics prize promotes corruption in societies around the world. Therefore he concludes that the Nobel Foundation’s awarding the economics prize is “in direct conflict with what Alfred Nobel decreed in his will.”

“I will,” writes Rothstein, “therefore now take the initiative in this matter.”
It's actually more than that.

There is evidence that the study economics are actually results in corrupt behavior, and that this applies to politicians who have left academe as well.

It's not surprising: Whatever you think of the study of law, it clearly buys into a system of morality which is presented as being independent of personal benefit.

Modern "Free Market Mousketeer" economics, by contrast sees personal interest as the alpha and omega of morality. Their world view is mirrored by the William Edward Hickman quote, "What is good for me is right."

It may not be fair to say this, but it behooves us to note that Mr. Hickman, who was described by Ayn Rand as having, "The best and strongest expression of a real man's psychology I have heard,," was a psychopath who kidnapped and dismembered a 12 year old girl.

The cult of the market, and shareholder value, is by definition sociopathic, and as such, it is a corrupting field as study.

Of course, my view does not apply to all economists, just generally to what one would call Neoclassical Economics*

Basically, they favor gross oversimplification of the human condition so as to allow for the creation elegant economic models made, and these simplifications give us a worldview that is both inaccurate and amoral.

At most universities, Econ 101, even as it notes that the models are over-simplified, provides no alternative means beyond neoclassical models.

It's a petri dish for corruption.

*Krugman uses the term "Freshwater Economics" because the schools that most lionize the idea of the rational and fully informed actor in the market place come from schools located inland, particularly in Chicago.


Stephen Montsaroff said...

Don't tell Krugman

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