Thursday, October 11, 2012

Economics Fail

While I'm at it, here's another ridiculous article from what is quickly becoming Canada's worst newspaper, the Globe and Mail.

In it a part time business professor attempts to refute David Suzuki's comments about economics, and ends up completely confirming all of Suzuki's criticisms, all the while thinking he's doing a great job and patting himself on the back. Let's do a blow by blow of the points.

Suzuki: economists (by which of course he generally means neoliberals, as they have largely captured academic and professional economics and imposed their single dogma while denying that other forms of economics exist) will tell you that there is no intrinsic value in having a forest remain standing. The wealth comes from chopping it and selling it.

Which Moffat takes to mean that Suzuki thinks economics says cut all trees! In reality Suzuki is right. There is no economic incentive to leave say a rainforest in its natural state when that rainforest sits on an oilfield. The point is that the rainforest existing has value, which is not captured by standard economic theory. Suzuki shows an understanding here of economic history that goes well beyond Moffatt.

Suzuki then goes on to point out that economists treat the destruction of natural environments, such as the ozone layer, as an externality, which even Moffatt admits is correct. But he again misses the point and goes on to talk about how economists actually do study externalities. Of course the point Suzuki is making is that these things shouldn't be considered after thought externalities but should be part of the economic considerations to begin with.

Economics and business administration programs are the only places you'll find more dogma in a university than the theology deparatment.

1 comment:

Mr. Mcgranor said...
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