Friday, January 16, 2009

Economics for Dummies?

In a review in Business & Money Book Reviews Blog HERE:

Economics For Dummies ('which covers all the basics of micro- and macroeconomic theory') by by Sean M. Flynn, PhD, Assistant Professor of Economics at Vassar College, we are told that it includes:

Basic theories such as Keynesian economics, the Laffer Curve, and Adam Smith’s Invisible Hand”.

If you are believe that ‘dummies’ need to know about the non-existent ‘basic theory’ of "Adam Smith’s Invisible Hand” then perhaps its author needs to first realize that:

a) Adam Smith did not have a ‘theory’ of ‘an invisible hand’ – it was a metaphor, not a theory;
b) that what passes among modern economists for the ‘theory of an invisible hand in markets’ is a wholly invented, fictional account, introduced by some overly-enthusiastic neoclassical economists in the 1950s, who saw general equilibrium as ‘proof’ of their theories – no harm in that, of course, as long as they remembered that real economies have people in them, not desiccated perfectly rational calculating machines.

I assume – hope! – that the so-called ‘theory’ of “Adam Smith’s in visible hand” is Sean’s “Chapter 17: Ten Seductive Economic Fallacies”.



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