On the nature of mathematics, political power and inequality in economics

“A relevant mathematical economics would include an analysis of how wealth is turned into political power by campaign contributions, ownership of the popular press and media, and the subsidy of education and culture. These public relations for the vested interests promote “solutions” to crises that increasingly favour those interests as the economy polarizes. The analysis of such phenomena is dismissed by general equilibrium theorizing that assumes a constant and unchanging political environment. Changes in laws are deemed to be exogenous to the subject matter of economics proper. The word “exogenous” is heard so often these days (along with “externalities“) that one wonders just what is left in economics proper. At issue for a more relevant empirical economics are the dynamics of social history, political institutions and the environment, not just the mechanics of supply and demand.”

Michael Hudson (2015), The use and abuse of mathematical economics in ‘Finance as Warfare’ (selected essays)

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One thought on “On the nature of mathematics, political power and inequality in economics

  1. A very perceptive quote.

    In addition to this, I would suggest that there is more progress in economics to be expected from understanding clearly that all economics, irrespective of its political tone, has a strong and irreducible theological element, than from couching it in terms seeking to establish a false pretence of scientific apodicity.

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