Saturday, April 27, 2019

Michael Roberts — Progressive capitalism–an oxymoron

What is Stiglitz’s solution? “Things don’t have to be that way. There is an alternative: progressive capitalism. Progressive capitalism is not an oxymoron; we can indeed channel the power of the market to serve society.” You see, it is not capitalism that is the problem but vested interests, especially among monopolists and bankers. The answer is to return to the days of managed capitalism that Stiglitz believes existed in the golden age of the 1950s and 1960s.

How are we to return to the golden age of progressive capitalism?….
Michael Roberts Blog
Progressive capitalism – an oxymoron
Michael Roberts


AXEC / E.K-H said...

Economics: failure, fake, fraud
Comment on Michael Roberts on ‘Progressive capitalism ― an oxymoron’*

On the back cover of People, Power, and Profits, the applause troll Paul Krugman is cited under the heading Praise for Joseph E. Stiglitz: “[Joseph Stiglitz] is an insanely great economist.”

The first thing to notice is that Paul Krugman is an insanely little economist because he proudly presents himself as ‘sorta-kinda maximization-and-equilibrium guy’, that is, he has not realized to this day that maximization-and-equilibrium is dead since 140+ years.#1, #2

From Adam Smith/Karl Marx onward to the Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel economics claims to be science but has never been anything else than brain-dead political agenda-pushing. The four major approaches ― Walrasianism, Keynesianism, Marxianism, Austrianism ― are mutually contradictory, axiomatically false, materially/formally inconsistent and all got the foundational concept of the subject matter ― profit ― wrong.#3, #4

There is political economics and theoretical economics. The main differences are: (i) The goal of political economics is to successfully push an agenda, the goal of theoretical economics is to successfully explain how the actual economy works. (ii) In political economics anything goes; in theoretical economics, the scientific standards of material and formal consistency are observed.

Theoretical economics (= science) had been hijacked from the very beginning by political economists (= agenda pushers). Political economics has produced NOTHING of scientific value in the last 200+ years. Economics is a failed science.#5 Because all variants of theoretical economics are provably false, economic policy guidance NEVER had sound scientific foundations.

Because both microeconomics and macroeconomics are based on inconsistent concepts the respective models are scientifically worthless and economic policy guidance is not different from tea leaves reading.

What, then, are Joseph E. Stiglitz’s policy proposals? “The prescription follows from the diagnosis: It begins by recognizing the vital role that the state plays in making markets serve society. We need regulations that ensure strong competition without abusive exploitation, realigning the relationship between corporations and the workers they employ and the customers they are supposed to serve. We must be as resolute in combating market power as the corporate sector is in increasing it.”

Those prescriptions are (i) the stock of the left in the US and elsewhere, (ii) miss the point because the underlying profit/distribution theory is false.

Roughly speaking, Joseph E. Stiglitz believes that profit comes from market power. This is proto-scientific common sense. In other words, the economist Joseph E. Stiglitz does not know what profit is. This he has in common with his academic colleagues.

To make matters short here, the macroeconomic Profit Law is given as Q=Yd+(I−S)+(G−T)+(X−M). In the elementary case of a pure production-consumption economy, this reduces to Q=−S, i.e. the mirror image of household sector saving S is business sector loss −Q. The mirror image of household sector dissaving (-S) is business sector profit Q. The point to grasp is that profit for the business sector as a whole depends on deficit spending and nothing else. With regard to the State, the Profit Law boils down to Q=(G−T), i.e. Public Deficit = Private Profit. Obviously, macroeconomic profit has NOTHING to do with exploitation.#6

See part 2

AXEC / E.K-H said...

Part 2

The reduced macroeconomic Profit Law Q=(I−S)+(G−T) tells one that profit in the monetary economy is positive (i) if business sector investment I is greater than household sector saving S, and (ii), if the State runs a deficit, i.e. (G−T)>0.

Case (i) is characteristic for early Capitalism and case (ii) is characteristic for late Capitalism. Currently, the so-called free market economy is on full life support of the State. The macroeconomic Profit Law boils down to Public Deficit = Private Profit and thus the Oligarchy’s financial wealth and public debt grow in lockstep.

This distribution problem CANNOT be solved by increasing wages or by reducing market power because these factors affect only the distribution of profit between firms while the profit for the business sector as a whole is determined by deficit spending.

Joseph E. Stiglitz titles his new book People, Power, and Profits and does not know what profit is and how it is determined. Because of scientific failure, his policy proposals are at best useless. This he has in common with the rest of academic economists.#7

The fact of the matter is: so-called free market economies like the USA have long been on full life-support of the State. The continuous creation of financial wealth is the first and foremost economic task of the State. The Oligarchy is continuously fed by deficit-spending/money-creation. Roughly speaking, the Oligarchy’s financial wealth is equal to accumulated Public Debt (with WeThePeople as ultimate bagholders).

Capitalism and Socialism are both monetary economies. The macroeconomic Profit Law is the same for both.#8 Economists like Paul Krugman and Joseph E. Stiglitz have not realized it to this day and this tells one that they are insanely stupid.

Egmont Kakarot-Handtke

* Michael Roberts Blog

#1 Paul Krugman and economic poultry entrails reading

#2 Mr. Keynes, Prof. Krugman, IS-LM, and the End of Economics as We Know It

#3 The Profit Theory is False Since Adam Smith

#4 Dear idiots, Marx got profit and exploitation wrong

#5 Macroeconomics: Economists are too stupid for science

#6 Capitalism, poverty, exploitation, and cross-over exploitation

#7 Econogenics in action

#8 No future for Socialism and Capitalism

Bob Roddis said...

1. I don't want to spoil his fun, but Egmont has yet to prove his "law of profit". I'm turning purple holding my breath.

2. I don't want to spoil the "progressives'" fun, but we already have "progressive" capitalism. Everyone's property (and their body) can be actively grabbed by the government at any time for any reason to solve the non-existent problems of unemployment and monopoly under laissez faire. Our marvelous fiat money system (which funds the wars and Deep State so that average people don't notice) is an example of this insidious process.

Kaivey said...

Egmont, how do you fit countering global warming into your equations, or reducing poverty? What if a government wants to provide state health care because it would improve the quality of the lives of its citizens?

Bob Roddis said...

What if a government wants to provide state health care because it would improve the quality of the lives of its citizens?

What if there were unicorns?

What if (as is the case) government inteference in the free market is the cause of the lack of and high price of medical care? What if that was so obvious that "progressives" have been afraid for decades to engage the argument?

S400 said...

”What if there were unicorns? ”

Bob doesn’t realize that there’s a difference between questions due to its content. It’s not enough to acknowledge the word “if” in a question. One has to read the whole question. And when one does so one will realize the utterly low level of Bobs way of arguing.

There aren’t any unicorns in existence in the world. But there exist government provided health care which improves the quality of the lives of its citizens.

AXEC / E.K-H said...


You ask: “… how do you fit countering global warming into your equations, or reducing poverty?”

You obviously do not understand the essential difference between science and politics. Scientists/engineers, for example, figure out the laws of motion and of aerodynamics and of thermodynamics and all the rest and eventually get an aircraft off the ground. The characteristic of scientific knowledge is that it is public and freely accessible to every smart and interested person.

The practical use of scientific knowledge is an entirely different matter. In principle, it is the decision of the Legitimate Sovereign. The Legitimate Sovereign decides whether an aircraft is used to deliver food and medicine to the victims of a natural disaster or to throw bombs on a wedding party in a far away country.

Analogously, the task of the economist as scientist is to figure out the laws that govern the monetary economy. It is NOT his task to dabble in politics. Most economists do not understand this albeit it is known since J. S. Mill: “A scientific observer or reasoner, merely as such, is not an adviser for practice. His part is only to show that certain consequences follow from certain causes, and that to obtain certain ends, certain means are the most effectual. Whether the ends themselves are such as ought to be pursued, and if so, in what cases and to how great a length, it is no part of his business as a cultivator of science to decide, and science alone will never qualify him for the decision.”

Economists, though, have NEVER been cultivators of science but only stupid/corrupt agenda pushers. This is the indelible scientific disgrace of economists. The designation economist includes Walrasians, Keynesians, Marxians, Austrians, MMTers and, of course, you.

The reduced macroeconomic Profit Law Q=(G−T) tells one that profit in the monetary economy is positive if the State runs a deficit, i.e. (G−T)>0. Economically, i.e. with regard to overall profit, it is a matter of indifference whether the deficit results from military or from environmental spending. It is the deficit as such that feeds the Oligarchy and NOT the political purpose of the deficit. Because of this, a New Green Deal is just as good for Wall Street as a war in the Middle East provided it is financed by the central bank.

The indelible moral disgrace of MMT consists of telling people that deficit-spending/money-creation is for their or their children’s benefit while it is uniquely and exclusively for the benefit of the Oligarchy.

The indelible moral disgrace of economists in general consists of the claim that they are contributing to the growth of scientific knowledge while in fact, they are producing nothing but political BS.

Egmont Kakarot-Handtke

Kaivey said...

Egmont, if it turns out that the Scandinavian system is the most efficient, could that be proven with your equations?

I think that market regulation produces the most efficient system for the majority of people, not just the oligarchy. Can the regulations be put in your maths to show this one way or another?

Kaivey said...

Bob would allow anyone to operate on you to bring the price down. It would be your fault if you could not afford the best doctors and took a risk with someone with a dubious doctorate.

AXEC / E.K-H said...


You ask: “… if it turns out that the Scandinavian system is the most efficient, could that be proven with your equations?”

Before you can prove anything you need an accurate formal representation of the system in question. The usual economic squabbling is pointless, it proves nothing.

The macroeconomic Profit Law is ONE element of the scientifically valid description of the monetary economy. There are more elements, to be sure.#1 Because the Scandinavian economies are monetary economies the Profit Law holds also for them.

Needless to emphasize that the general equation has to be specified for the national economy under consideration. This is the step from theory to model. For example, if government expenditures G are differentiated into military spending Gm and social spending Gs, i.e. G=Gm+Gs, then one gets wildly different numbers for the USA and for Norway but, of course, this does NOT affect the general Profit Law in any way. It’s just like putting different masses into the Law of Gravity.

Again, the macroeconomic laws are the same for Capitalism and Socialism and anything in between. Only the values of the variables differ.

Egmont Kakarot-Handtke

#1 Go! ― test the Profit and Employment Law

Kaivey said...

Thank you, Egmont. I find your POV interesting.