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Monday, November 13, 2017

Steve Keen, sell-out

Professor Steve Keen, possibly the greatest economist of our time and Castalia House author-to-be, admits that he is a sold-out member of no less than FOUR grand conspiracies:
How I sold out to the Putin-Soros-Murdoch conspiracy to destroy Western civilization

I was delighted to find myself in the Top Ten (alright; top 15) of the European Values list of 2,326 “Useful Idiots” appearing regularly on RT shows, and thus legitimizing Vladimir Putin’s attempt to destroy Western civilization as we know it.
Why delighted? Because it completes the set of conspiracies to which I can now be accused of belonging. They include:

• The Putin Conspiracy, since I am regularly interviewed on Russia Today (and even worse, I now get paid to write for RT!);

• The Soros Conspiracy, since my research, has been funded by the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET) which he established;

• The Murdoch Conspiracy, since I appear every week on Sky News Australia with Carson Scott, and I used to get paid by News Ltd to write a weekly column; and

• The Alt-Right Conspiracy, since I’ve signed a book contract with Vox Day’s publishing firm Castalia House.
I can confirm the latter. We have the privilege to be publishing what Steve describes as his "magnum opus", a work that I have reason to believe may prove not only significant, but utterly revolutionary. As for the others, I fear we shall have to settle for taking his word on them. Speaking of economics, it might interest you to hear that I am writing a piece addressing free trade and nationalism for a first-rate anthology that will appear next year from another publisher.

I will be doing a Voxiversity variant of it for our third video, after #001 Immigration and War and #002 Comics and Culture War.

But back to Steve:
So not only am I a “useful idiot,” I’m a useful idiot for four contradictory conspiracies. Does that make me a double-double agent?

No, it makes me someone who’s quadruple pissed off with people who attempt to understand the world from the perspective of conspiracy theories in the first place. I don’t deny the existence of conspiracies: in fact, far from it, because they’re everywhere. What I do deny is the implicit assumption that the conspirators understand the system they’re attempting to manipulate.

For example, I’ve heard plenty of conspiracy theorists assert that the 2008 financial crisis was caused by the Federal Reserve/George Soros (Hi George!)/Hedge Funds/Academic-Economists-Who-Peddle-The-Efficient-Markets-Hypothesis, and “they” profited from it.

This implies “they” knew what “they” were doing. Pardon me, but I’ve met many of these protagonists—and in the case of academic economists, I’ve worked with them for 30 years. “They” don’t have a clue (except George). Even those that were actively conspiring—like many hedge funds during the subprime bubble were doing so on the basis of utterly deluded theories about how the system they were trying to game actually worked. Where apparent conspiracies did work, like Soros’s punt against the British Pound decades ago, they did so because a CSP (Clever Sinister Person) bet against the conventional wisdom of others who thought they understood the system (and did not), rather than because the CSP set up the whole thing in the first place.
I used to work out with a guy running a very large global corporation. And by large, I mean annual turnover measured in the billions. He disabused me of any notion that the central bankers were smart; after returning from one meeting with the Bank of England's Court of Directors, he said something about hoping the directors were somebody's puppets, because if those bozos were actually running anything, the global economy was doomed.

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95 Comments:

Blogger Shimshon November 13, 2017 5:10 AM  

• The Putin Conspiracy
• The Soros Conspiracy
• The Murdoch Conspiracy
• The [Vox Day] Conspiracy

One of these is not like the others. Vox, you got to step your game. You're now mentioned with the likes of Putin, Soros, and Murdoch. Wow.

Anonymous CrystalBlue November 13, 2017 5:22 AM  

Never explain by malice that which can also be explained by incompetence.

Anonymous Icicle November 13, 2017 5:25 AM  

after returning from one meeting with the Bank of England's Court of Directors, he said something about hoping the directors were somebody's puppets

Most likely.

Blogger Koanic November 13, 2017 5:36 AM  

> Never explain by malice that which can also be explained by incompetence.

Never needlessly attribute competence to malice.

Blogger Tatooine Sharpshooters' Club November 13, 2017 5:51 AM  

Bank of England's Court of Directors

Sir Desmond Glazebrook is more reality than parody.

Anonymous SAK November 13, 2017 5:52 AM  

Acknowledged evil genius Dominic Cummings, who master minded the vote leave brexit campaign, on those running the country:

"the line that really stuck with me was one which had a far less narrowly political meaning: instead, it was about the faith we all seem to have in others who are smarter than we are. “Everyone thinks there’s some moment, like in a James Bond Movie, where you open the door and that’s where the really good people are,” Cummings said. “But there is no door.”"

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/the-most-important-thing-youll-ever-learn-everyone-is-faking-it-9541368.html%3famp

Anonymous SAK November 13, 2017 5:55 AM  

Or put another way: I don't know if it is really turtles all the way down, but it is certainly idiots all the way up.

Blogger SirGroggy November 13, 2017 6:09 AM  

Been binge watching Steve Keen videos on YouTube. It's fascinating stuff. (I only heard of Steve Keen here from VD, didn't know about him previously).

Apparently Keen was one of the very few people in the world to accurately predict the 2008 crash.

This guy is absolutely the real deal. Intellectual heavy artillery. Congratulations on signing him to Castalia House!

Anonymous Looking Glass November 13, 2017 6:11 AM  

"The Vox Day Conspiracy"

Sounds like a techno cover band of 60s pop music.


As to Puppet Masters, they most definitely exist, but they operate in ways you've been trained to ignore. "Evil Puppet Masters" are a lot more banal than mustache twirling. They try to setup many things, see what sticks, then capitalize on any manias that appear.

The real lesson of the post-Cold War era is that the western puppet masters are really incompetent. Devious, evil and with strong tactical skills, but they're fixated on creating a world that can't exist. What you get for listening to the devil.

Anonymous Killua November 13, 2017 6:17 AM  

Apparently Keen was one of the very few people in the world to accurately predict the 2008 crash.

This guy is absolutely the real deal. Intellectual heavy artillery. Congratulations on signing him to Castalia House!


Congratulations indeed.

I have always considered the ability to predict the future one of the traits of intelligent people. Another recent example is the presidency of Donald Trump. Most political "experts" predicted a Clinton victory. A few people like Vox, Scott Adams, and some right-wing writers predicted a Trump victory. Not surprisingly, those who correctly predicted Trump's precidency tend to be more intelligent than average.

Anonymous Mister M November 13, 2017 6:28 AM  

I've always put Sowell and McCloskey as the top economists of the day, with Schiff up there for pure chutzpah. I'll have to read Prof. Keen - getting such high marks here from our host means I've been missing out.

Anonymous Looking Glass November 13, 2017 6:36 AM  

@10 Killua

Trump had the highest likelihood of being President by Fall 2015. Alpha almost always wins and Clinton is the worst "retail" politician to sniff the Presidency since the Civil War. They had to pay off everyone & convince themselves that wasn't true. "dh" would point out that "standard Republican" would have polled far better than Trump. (Though likely lost.)

I do have a comment at another blog from over 2 months out from the vote that Trump was pretty much a lock to win. It wasn't really that hard to figure out once you reweighted the polling. There was a clear agreement among all of the Media Pollsters to front for Hillary. They spent the entire election cycle with D+6 to D+10 weights. There was nothing to suggest that was the right weight to place, which is why the "polling" industry was exposed as nothing but propaganda frauds.

Blogger VD November 13, 2017 6:41 AM  

I've always put Sowell and McCloskey as the top economists of the day, with Schiff up there for pure chutzpah.

No. Not even close. Sowell is not even a third-rate economist. He's not awful, but he is massively overrated by conservatives because he is conservative, black, and speaks out against the false racial narrative.

He is all but useless on free trade. His defense of NAFTA as being innocuous was simply embarrassing. He doesn't understand how private college loans, not public subsidies, create high student tuitions. And he stood by Michelle Malkin's nonsense about Pearl Harbor even when I exchanged email with him pointing out the historical facts that he got wrong in that column.

I have some affection for him, but he's not even in my league, let alone Steve Keen's.

Blogger pyrrhus November 13, 2017 6:42 AM  

What I mainly recall from your interview with Keen was his willingness to print infinite money as long as government was "responsible"....

Blogger Christopher B November 13, 2017 6:46 AM  

It takes a rather high degree of intelligence to construct a theory of why something that is painfully obvious is not going to happen. Since 1900 there have only been three instances where different men of the same political party won three or more elections consecutively - Harding/Coolidge/Hoover, F Roosevelt/Truman, Reagan/GHWB - and only the later did it without the VP becoming President first, and only managed to do it then because of the extraordinary circumstances of 1988 against the weakest Dem candidate since McGovern and before Hillary. Claims that Hillary's chance of victory were above 50/50 should have been treated with extreme sceptism but all the 'smart' people put their energy into building elaborate rationals (aided by fake polling) for why she would win.

Blogger SirGroggy November 13, 2017 6:49 AM  

I do have a comment at another blog from over 2 months out from the vote that Trump was pretty much a lock to win. It wasn't really that hard to figure out once you reweighted the polling.

Picking a presidential victory is not that hard - it is a binary choice!

Anonymous Looking Glass November 13, 2017 6:50 AM  

@15 Christopher B

The Clinton camp spent at least 4 years paying people to push the narrative that Hillary was inevitable. As we understand now, the entire Conservative, Inc is incapable of fighting against a narrative that's been made.

Blogger SirGroggy November 13, 2017 6:52 AM  

"In physics they are standing on the shoulders of giants.
Standing on the toes of pygmies, that's what the economists have done."

Steve Keen

Anonymous Looking Glass November 13, 2017 6:53 AM  

@16 SirGroggy

Bigot! Don't you know the Vote now views itself as non-binary? How could you be so racist!

Blogger SirGroggy November 13, 2017 6:56 AM  

@19 Sorry, there's Cis Democrat, Cis Republican, Trans Democrat, Trans Republican, Apolitical, Interparty and Partyqueer

Blogger Akulkis November 13, 2017 7:00 AM  

@2

"Never explain by malice that which can also be explained by incompetence."|

I fully believe that phrase was invented by an evil person, looking for pre-emptive cover.

Blogger VD November 13, 2017 7:02 AM  

I fully believe that phrase was invented by an evil person, looking for pre-emptive cover.

Exactly. Think about it. The malicious are, on average, considerably less competent than the average individual.

Anonymous Looking Glass November 13, 2017 7:08 AM  

@20 SirGroggy

"Partyqueer", that's a great one. We can put all of the NeverTrumpers in there.

Blogger Stilicho November 13, 2017 7:14 AM  

@11 start with reading Keen's essay "The roving cavaliers of credit". Caveat, when you read his books, you'll find brilliant analysis and insights coupled with some obvious blind spots that appear to be driven by his desire to support leftist politics (e.g. Ignoring public debt, Moar socialism being part of his proposed solutions, etc.). It's as if if he uses his intellect to identify problems and his emotions to attempt solutions.

Blogger dh November 13, 2017 7:32 AM  

Every six or twelve months I embark on an expedition to find someone new in an industry that I'm deeply involved with. Hoping against hope that there is another level of expert out there, and I've just not stumbled across this person yet. It's not that my staff isn't great, but I keep feeling like there is someone else out there who is advancing the state of the art.

Conferences, mailing lists, networking groups - always coming up short.

At some point you accomplish enough to realize there isn't a next level, and all the problems left for you to solve are deep and difficult to get to the bottom of. There isn't anyone out there doing it substantially better because it's all heartache and pain from here out.

Anonymous glosoli November 13, 2017 7:38 AM  

Keen is literally in the pay of Soros. Nice.
The elite (as usual) have all sides covered.
Trump, Putin and Xi = Hitler, Stalin and Churchill.
The elite foment the expected rise of populism, the dumb sheep follow along. The NWO will be nationalist and with Austrian economics, laissez-faire. It'll still be a global slave plantation. No country will escape, hence NK and Iran will be taken out imminently, and converted, just like Saudi Arabia has recently. Watch the rise of women there. Nice.
Nothing changes, it never will, until Jesus returns.

Anonymous Looking Glass November 13, 2017 7:50 AM  

@25 dh

In pretty much every field, once you reach a certain level, everything further is refinements upon the current approaches. Those refinements take, normally, significantly more effort to accomplish than the previous approach was to build. It's the "fine-tuning" effect, but there's a reason it takes far less time to Frame a house than to do the interior.

The other related aspect is that there may be an understanding that there is a different approach to be taken, but getting from A to B might currently be impossible. (I'm thinking of the recent-ish Alpha Go competition against masters at the game of "Go". Alpha Go was able to build an approach that would convince someone to quit playing long before they mastered all of the connections to produce victory conditions.)

Blogger tuberman November 13, 2017 7:55 AM  

I have to give Keen a look on YouTube. I've always held Economists in about the same regard as used car salesmen, especially the Chicago School of Economics. I should reassess now?

I would have problems with socialist fixes.

Analysis is never enough, synthesis of workable ideas must come from the rubble, as analysis always smashes and deconstructs, and is just the chaos part. One must construct new order from the chaos, and it has to work well.

It's not good that his construction (order) includes socialism. I'll have to see for myself.

Blogger Groggy November 13, 2017 8:02 AM  

I've always held Economists in about the same regard as used car salesmen, especially the Chicago School of Economics. I should reassess now?

Keen who is a professor of Economics calls himself an 'anti-Economist'. He is a 'renegade' economist to some extent who is scathing about mainstream economists.

Anonymous Simon in London November 13, 2017 8:02 AM  

Yes, this is exactly right.

People conspire all the time - people in power especially. The notion of delegitimising belief in conspiracies was itself the product of a conspiracy.

These people who conspire are generally not all that bright or competent. They are certainly no more competent than they appear to be in public. People don't magically become all-knowing just because they are engaging in a conspiracy.

The main tool of conspirators is not secrecy, but 'Don't Go There' - control of the Narrative. Everyone knew about the Hollywood casting couch long before Harvey Weinstein. They didn't dare 'go there' in public.

Blogger 1337kestrel November 13, 2017 8:04 AM  

"There isn't anyone out there doing it substantially better because it's all heartache and pain from here out."

And then your competitors beat you to patent filing by three months, because your internal bureaucracy takes a year to process IP.

The problem you are describing is that *you* are the guy.

Anonymous 360 November 13, 2017 8:05 AM  

I read the entire post with Keen's accent in my head.

Blogger dc.sunsets November 13, 2017 8:11 AM  

What I do deny is the implicit assumption that the conspirators understand the system they’re attempting to manipulate.

Power corrupts reason, which ultimately precludes wisdom. One of our age's pyramids of error is the universal belief that the 0.1% got there via superior wisdom.

SAK wrote: Or put another way: I don't know if it is really turtles all the way down, but it is certainly idiots all the way up.

I love those who comment here. More insight & LOL entertainment than any alternative.

Blogger dc.sunsets November 13, 2017 8:16 AM  

The pendulum swings in two directions because the quality of conspirators falls as their power begins to feed their arrogance. Nothing begets a fall more than prior success causing a person to begin to believe their own PR. (h/t to H. Clinton, poster child.)

Blogger Groggy November 13, 2017 8:17 AM  

I've always put Sowell and McCloskey as the top economists of the day, with Schiff up there for pure chutzpah.

Check this out:

Steve Keen Rebuts Peter Schiff - Austerity Is An Insanely Stupid Policy
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CO_UVxJy6XM

Anonymous Ominous Cowherd November 13, 2017 8:21 AM  

VD wrote:No. Not even close. Sowell is not even a third-rate economist. He's not awful, but he is massively overrated by conservatives because he is conservative, black, and speaks out against the false racial narrative.

During five years in an econ PhD program, I never once heard Sowell's name, never once read any of his work. He has no influence on the profession.

Economists tend to be mathematicians. Like mathematicians, they tend to abhore the practical.

I once said that by focusing on real analysis, the econ department was importing unemployment from the math department.

Blogger ace November 13, 2017 8:25 AM  

@1
The difference is, unlike the first three, people are actually scared to say Vox Day's name. Only half-joking.

Anonymous Ominous Cowherd November 13, 2017 8:27 AM  

Stilicho wrote:@11 start with reading Keen's essay "The roving cavaliers of credit". Caveat, when you read his books, you'll find brilliant analysis and insights coupled with some obvious blind spots that appear to be driven by his desire to support leftist politics (e.g. Ignoring public debt, Moar socialism being part of his proposed solutions, etc.). It's as if if he uses his intellect to identify problems and his emotions to attempt solutions.

An economist must give solutions which give politician an excuse to buy votes, or he will be ignored by politicians and granting agencies.

Blogger Ken Prescott November 13, 2017 8:30 AM  

I had the markets explained to me by a guy who worked the NYSE pit:

"The trend is your friend. Until it isn't."

Blogger tuberman November 13, 2017 8:38 AM  

Groggy wrote:I've always held Economists in about the same regard as used car salesmen, especially the Chicago School of Economics. I should reassess now?

Keen who is a professor of Economics calls himself an 'anti-Economist'. He is a 'renegade' economist to some extent who is scathing about mainstream economists.


Okay he has pundit type value, as I suggest, he deconstructs other Economic falseness. Pundits and think tanks have been around forever, but they never create a better order out of the chaos created. It helps to slow down the ignorance and stupidity, but unless your solutions are better (Keen, in this case), nothing good happens.

I'm preparing the ground for reading and/or viewing Keen's stuff by writing down my current thoughts. My current thought are that two Economies exist side by side (Sundance on CTH is great on this), and one is the Main Street Economy, and the other is a Parasite Economy of the Globalists. Get rid of the Globalist Parasite Economy, and go back to the Main Street Economy. Simple? Does Keen even address this Parasite Economy Idea?

Socialist solutions?

I shall check.

Blogger VD November 13, 2017 8:43 AM  

Okay he has pundit type value, as I suggest, he deconstructs other Economic falseness.

You have no fucking idea what you're talking about. Keen's solutions are totally irrelevant. You're not even remotely equipped to understand his significance; if he is even partially right, we're talking about someone who merits single-name status in human history.

It is unlikely that you will grasp even one-third of what Keen is talking about, much less the significance of his criticism. To put it in perspective, this is akin to something on the order of Copernicus vs the Ptolemaic system.

Anonymous Rocklea November 13, 2017 8:46 AM  

"Get rid of the Globalist Parasite Economy, and go back to the Main Street Economy. Simple? Does Keen even address this Parasite Economy Idea?"

That would require housing projects for unemployed bureaucrats

Anonymous Ominous Cowherd November 13, 2017 8:51 AM  

VD wrote:... if he is even partially right, we're talking about someone who merits single-name status in human history.

Now you've done it. I shall have to buy his book.

Vox, your take on economics seems more grounded in reality than the econ profession's concensus positions, probably because you aren't competing for tenure, grants and a spot on the president's council of economic advisors. You don't have to pretend to see the emporer's nude clothes. New clothes, that is.

Blogger dc.sunsets November 13, 2017 8:52 AM  

Ken Prescott wrote:I had the markets explained to me by a guy who worked the NYSE pit:

"The trend is your friend. Until it isn't."


After 35 years of strongly trending markets very few people remember what the mid-60's to the mid-70's (or early 80's) was like. Trends were extremely short-lived during a decade and a half of churning. By 1981 most people figured only idiots played on Wall Street, idiots who liked to lose money.

Now, almost forty years later, blind monkeys are assumed to be capable of making money, and every third email is from someone who promises to show me how to obtain a 150% ROI monthly. [And I ask, once again, why someone who knows how to obtain a 150% ROI monthly (or yearly!) needs my $...oh, I know, it's because "making money is boring them, so they want to teach...."]

FWIW, $10,000 at 150% per month is $1.83x10^46 after 20 years. Yeah, sure..., but it's only a lousy $367 trillion after 5 years.

Anonymous Ominous Cowherd November 13, 2017 8:53 AM  

Rocklea wrote:"Get rid of the Globalist Parasite Economy, and go back to the Main Street Economy. Simple? Does Keen even address this Parasite Economy Idea?"

That would require housing projects for unemployed bureaucrats


We could call them crematoria. To the ovens with them! But first the delousing showers.

Anonymous Killua November 13, 2017 8:55 AM  

What I mainly recall from your interview with Keen was his willingness to print infinite money as long as government was "responsible"....

A question: Would printing unlimited money work if there was one world government and one single world currency?

Blogger VD November 13, 2017 8:58 AM  

A question: Would printing unlimited money work if there was one world government and one single world currency?

No. The most you can hope for out of ANY monetary system is that it optimizes the process. Money is just for keeping score of who owns what material things. There is, theoretically, an optimal distribution of money that would permit maximumally efficient use of those things.

I am confident that humanity has not discovered that point. Ever.

Anonymous Looking Glass November 13, 2017 9:01 AM  

@47 VD

If found, the point would never hold. Not enough room for graft, looting or ego inflating.

Blogger tuberman November 13, 2017 9:03 AM  

Okay, sorry, i will read him with respect.

Blogger VD November 13, 2017 9:06 AM  

Okay, sorry, i will read him with respect.

It's fine. You have absolutely no reason to know anything about it.

Blogger Brian O'Brien November 13, 2017 9:12 AM  

When speaking of conspiracies, we're talking about men who meet in private to formulate secret plans. Georgetown historian Carroll Quigley told us the world economy is run by men who conspire in private. According to Quigley, these conspirators not only understand this system that they manipulate, they created it for a very specific purpose.

In his book "Tragedy and Hope," Quigley tells us the international bankers who created finance capitalism had an agenda, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. “This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the system was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland; a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations.”

Economists don't want us to know this. That's because the Federal Reserve and central banks around the world are the biggest employers and patrons of economists. The Nobel Prize for Economics is funded by Sweden's central bank.

I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss conspiracies, especially when it comes to banks and their relation to power: http://bit.ly/1Qwg6x4

OpenID aew51183 November 13, 2017 9:22 AM  

Say what you will about this guy, but he retweets Corbyn unironically.

I have to question the sanity of anyone who does that.

Anonymous krymneth November 13, 2017 9:24 AM  

Vox I read "Debunking Economics" after you did the Brainstorm with Keen. When you refer to his importance, are you referring to the way he argued for putting essentially the whole of economics into the "not even wrong" category? Or if you prefer a slightly less cutest formulation, as having a foundation so rotten and mathematically incoherent as to render irrelevant any claims based on that foundation?

Or is there something even more revolutionary coming down the pipe?

Anonymous GM November 13, 2017 9:26 AM  

Forget hardcover. I will buy Steve Keen's magnum opus, edited by Vox Day, in illuminated manuscript.

Blogger Andrew Brown November 13, 2017 9:28 AM  

The Vox Day conspiracy?

Shit, need to add something to the bucket list.

*Become a conspiracy theory

There we go, carry on Gents.

Blogger wreckage November 13, 2017 9:36 AM  

@47 @48, is there even an optimal point that can be known? If you boil away all the tripe, known prices are a history of the last amount someone was willing to pay for a given thing. The current price they are willing to pay is open to at least some dispute if anything like (including approximating via complexity and randomness) free will exists. So, not only are price-fixing socialization schemes trying to invent a numerical value that doesn't exist, but even with the best will in the world, you can't perfectly optimize the money supply.

Except to within tolerance via trial and error.

Anonymous JAG November 13, 2017 9:47 AM  

I don't really know jack about economics. I can only say that I have had this hunch that the trillions of dollars in government spending over the last few decades would have worked out better had they thrown it out of helicopters in random cities on random dates around the USA.

Blogger VD November 13, 2017 9:52 AM  

When you refer to his importance, are you referring to the way he argued for putting essentially the whole of economics into the "not even wrong" category? Or if you prefer a slightly less cutest formulation, as having a foundation so rotten and mathematically incoherent as to render irrelevant any claims based on that foundation?

I refer to the way he PROVED it beyond any shadow of a reasonable doubt. I always suspected as much, but I never managed to prove it.

Blogger Josh (the sexiest thing here) November 13, 2017 10:02 AM  

Vox, where would you rank Thaler amongst contemporary economists?

Anonymous Looking Glass November 13, 2017 10:12 AM  

@58 VD

"Slick" & inventive proof or one with good insight but takes lifting a mountain to work through it all?

Anonymous Econymist November 13, 2017 10:17 AM  

VD wrote:Money is just for keeping score of who owns what material things.
This doesn't add up. Money is both "kinetic" (what I have) and "potential" (what I can obtain). Now, maybe this definition works if it's self-referential, i.e. money is one of the "material things" that money keeps track of.

Anonymous Ominous Cowherd November 13, 2017 10:22 AM  

krymneth wrote:Vox I read "Debunking Economics" after you did the Brainstorm with Keen. When you refer to his importance, are you referring to the way he argued for putting essentially the whole of economics into the "not even wrong" category? Or if you prefer a slightly less cutest formulation, as having a foundation so rotten and mathematically incoherent as to render irrelevant any claims based on that foundation?

Or is there something even more revolutionary coming down the pipe?


Economics as category error is pretty revolutionary. Pretty plausible, too. There have been elder statesmen of econ who have written articles published in the top journals who have hinted at that.

Back around 2000 or so one such article about measuring productivity got through in AER, I think it was. My recollection is that it boiled down to saying that our measurements of productivity were bogus, and so every theory which incorporated productivity was bogus, too.

Anonymous CrystalBlue November 13, 2017 10:25 AM  

VD wrote:Exactly. Think about it. The malicious are, on average, considerably less competent than the average individual.
Sure. But that makes them a minority. It's MPAI not MPAM, so you go for the middle of the bell curve when looking for the likely explanation.

Anonymous krymneth November 13, 2017 10:28 AM  

I refer to the way he PROVED it beyond any shadow of a reasonable doubt.

I accept your correction with gusto. I was hedging on the grounds that I am not that into economics and had never seen anybody's counterarguments to judge the other side. Although I am mathematically competent, and found myself at a loss as to what forms those counterarguments could even take. The math is damning, in that uniquely strong way that math can be.

It seems like any sensible economist who reads this work should make immediate correction of these underlying problems their one and only priority. Drawing out the implications of that left as an exercise for the reader.

It reminds me of some conversations I have had in some forums dominated by the "f'in love science" crowd where the topic of the reproducibility crisis comes up. I say the only sensible thing for the affected fields to do is to literally drop everything affected by the questionable science and work on shorting up the foundations, and I just get this hemming and hawing text that covers over the fact that they almost literally can't even think that thought. They get that there is some problem, but they don't GET it. It's that peculiar type of problem that I don't really understand, in which one has a serious foundational issue for which the only possible solution is to do nothing different, ever. I wish I encountered more of those problems in my job... I usually have to actually change things to fix such problems. Some people have all the luck.

Blogger wreckage November 13, 2017 10:30 AM  

Well, our measurements of production (GDP) are known even within the profession to be bogus, our measures of say, average wage are bogus in that they don't follow proper form for statistics, and Picketty, for example, published a very major and oft-cited work based on a fundamental and basic error.

Dune was a way more interesting examination of a good of infinite utility and absolutely inflexible supply than "Capital in the Twenty First Century".

So yeah. Most of economics is just a pooch-screw; fortunately, most of it never gets applied in any way, shape or form.

Anonymous Mike Rock November 13, 2017 10:59 AM  

Vox,
Do you/he have a title yet? Publication date estimation? His stuff is awesome!!

Blogger Koanic November 13, 2017 11:02 AM  

> The malicious are, on average, considerably less competent than the average individual.

The motto of the United States might justly be switched from "In God we trust," to "Incomptence we cluster".

It is a good day to be a barbarian.

Blogger Solaire Of Astora November 13, 2017 11:13 AM  

An odd thing about so many conspiracy theorists being of the right is that their theories so called rely on centralized control of so many unpredictable and unknowable variables that their world view actually gives credence to centralization, not the opposite. You have to believe in master minds capable of impossible manipulations to believe in some of these conspiracies in the way they're presented. I'm sure there are people in power who are conspiratorial in nature. It's natural to do what you can to hold onto power and wealth, but people tend to go to far at times. The only conspiracies that I'm willing to believe have any chance of having a command of that massive scale are spiritual ones and even then Satan's plans often have the opposite result of what he intends if you believe the bible.

Blogger Were-Puppy November 13, 2017 11:14 AM  

@25 dh

There isn't anyone out there doing it substantially better because it's all heartache and pain from here out.
---

It's lonely at the tip of the spear.

Anonymous szIlk November 13, 2017 11:34 AM  

Steve Keen is a bad, bad man

Anonymous szIlk November 13, 2017 11:35 AM  

And I like him

Anonymous Jack Amok November 13, 2017 11:35 AM  

Hoping against hope that there is another level of expert out there, and I've just not stumbled across this person yet.

In the software industry, it's more like we're sinking back into the tar. I feel like I'm an NPC in Empire of the Faded Suns, watching as a technology collapse looms. The general state of competence in the industry is getting worse. Likely it's because nobody wants to pay for anything any more and it's becoming and advertising-supported industry.

Anonymous BBGKB November 13, 2017 11:52 AM  

A conspiracy is 2 women plotting a negative peer review of a 3rd woman.

Where apparent conspiracies did work, like Soros’s punt against the British Pound decades ago, they did so because a CSP (Clever Sinister Person) bet against the conventional wisdom

Conventional wisdom that jews wouldn't try to destroy their host nation for profit.

A few people like Vox, Scott Adams, and some right-wing writers predicted a Trump victory. Not surprisingly, those who correctly predicted Trump's precidency tend to be more intelligent than average

The only thing that could stop TRUMP was massive voter fraud. Project Veritas videos from the primaries sealed the deal.

I fully believe that phrase was invented by an evil person, looking for pre-emptive cover.

I am going to say worked with affirmative action coworkers. I would say you have not encountered high enough levels of incompetence in unfireable "workers".

The difference is, unlike the first three, people are actually scared to say Vox Day's name. Only half-joking.

But 1/2 the people saying "Soros can kiss my ass" are hoping to get paid by Soros to do it.

A question: Would printing unlimited money work if there was one world government and one single world currency?

Children would use stacks of money to build things cheaper than with legos. Just like the Weimar years.

Anonymous Jack Amok November 13, 2017 11:55 AM  

Would printing unlimited money work if there was one world government and one single world currency?

Money is just a claim on future productivity, it isn't - and doesn't generate - actual productivity. Worse, whenever a government increases the money supply, it has to introduce the new money into the economy through some means, and that process degrades productivity because those means are always non-productive overhead: bankstering, make-work, military salaries and hardware (necessary, but non-productive), etc. It lures capable and ambitious people out of actual productive occupations and into non-productive ones.

(and that effect isn't just limited to government issued currency either. Look at the idiotic block-chain crypto-currencies. What do they do? Encourage people to waste cpu cycles and electricity mining for blocks...)

Anonymous patrick kelly November 13, 2017 11:57 AM  

"I used to work out with a guy running a very large global corporation. And by large, I mean annual turnover measured in the billions. He disabused me of any notion that the central bankers were smart; after returning from one meeting with the Bank of England's Court of Directors, he said something about hoping the directors were somebody's puppets, because if those bozos were actually running anything, the global economy was doomed."

I've always thought those 5 old bald Jewish guys running the world from Brussels do a pretty good job considering what they have to work with.

Blogger Josh (the sexiest thing here) November 13, 2017 11:59 AM  

(and that effect isn't just limited to government issued currency either. Look at the idiotic block-chain crypto-currencies. What do they do? Encourage people to waste cpu cycles and electricity mining for blocks...)

Crypto is selling the ultimate revenge of the nerds fantasy to other nerds

Blogger VD November 13, 2017 12:13 PM  

Do you/he have a title yet? Publication date estimation? His stuff is awesome!!

No. No. Yes. I don't know if he's even begun writing it yet.

Blogger tuberman November 13, 2017 12:44 PM  

BTW, As Steve Keen is that good, then he jumps his category into a true scholar (a term I use in the profound sense), so I now have to read him. I always desire to fill in missing pieces, and to update my assumptions.

Blogger James November 13, 2017 1:00 PM  

How's this for a conspiracy theory? "Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour". Prowls. On this planet where he has been exiled. Prince of this world. His minions may not know what they are doing, but he does, and enforces his will through other minions. The only thing Satan doesn't know is that he has already lost and can't win. Since he doesn't believe that, he keeps trying to subvert God's plan. The way he does that is to use God's Laws against the children of Adam. By violating God's Laws, the children of Adam bring God's curses upon themselves. Curses linked to actions. Such as accepting homo behavior and promoting it whenever possible. Molesting and killing children and unborn babies. Allowing false gods to be worshipped in the lands God's children have conquered. Doing drugs (Pharmakeia is a form of the Greek root word from which we get our English words: Pharmacy, Pharmacist, and Pharmaceutical. In the Bible, pharmakeia carried with it the idea of sorcery, occultism, and black magic. It is in this sense that Paul used the term in Galatians 5.20 as the word "witchcraft". In Rev. 9:21 & 18:23 it is translated "sorceries". Approximately 60% of the population is taking at least one pharmaceutical drug every day.) Why, its so unbelievable, someone should write a book about it. Oh, wait.......

Anonymous Ominous Cowherd November 13, 2017 2:03 PM  

James wrote:The only thing Satan doesn't know is that he has already lost and can't win. Since he doesn't believe that, he keeps trying to subvert God's plan.

Whether Satan knows he can't win or not, here he is with no way out except through. What could he do differently if he were to read Revelation and learn how it all ends for him? Why do you think he hasn't read the ending?

Blogger Resident Moron™ November 13, 2017 3:35 PM  

"... because if those bozos were actually running anything, the global economy was doomed."

OK, it looks like they were actually running things.

Either that, or the top CSP is a bastard.

Blogger Matt Davis November 13, 2017 3:37 PM  

"No, it makes me someone who’s quadruple pissed off with people who attempt to understand the world from the perspective of conspiracy theories in the first place. I don’t deny the existence of conspiracies: in fact, far from it, because they’re everywhere. What I do deny is the implicit assumption that the conspirators understand the system they’re attempting to manipulate."

I wasn't familiar with Keen before reading this post but everything you quoted paints the picture of a man with a handle on the world around him.

Humans inherently believe in "unseen agents". Evolutionary anthropology is almost entirely guesswork, but it isn't difficult to imagine how this would have been beneficial to early modern humans. With the increasing secularization of America and non-religious "Christians", people have moved from blaming ghosts and demons for events they can't make sense of to blaming groups hidden in the shadows orchestrating grand conspiracies.

People like Alex Jones are exploiting this for monetary gain. Alexander Dugin is doing the same with Orthodox Christians in Russia.

At 29 most of my generation has been exploited by progressives to the point of hopelessness. The next generation seems to be rejecting their agenda entirely. Let's not let another generation of men turn into a bunch of pot smoking, pornography addicted nihilists because we were too busy screaming Soros/NWO/Lizardmen at the sky.



Blogger Meimou November 13, 2017 3:59 PM  

Solaire Of AstoraNovember
An odd thing about so many conspiracy theorists being of the right is that their theories so called rely on centralized control of so many unpredictable and unknowable variables that their world view actually gives credence to centralization, not the opposite.

This sounds like an offical narrative apologist statement. The "conspiracy theories" you may be thinking of might have unknowable variables, but when you have control of the narrative, the less you need to take into account. JFK assassination OS'ers ask sarcastically(how else?) "why use Oswald as a pasty if witnesses could place him some where else at the time of the assassination? What if he left the building?" The answer is simple: the culprits had control of the ON, it didn't matter how many people put Oswald elsewheren, as long as it didn't get to trail - another variable they had control over - the true culprits had little to worry about. After all, it didn't matter that Oswald had no gunpowder traces on him, the ON held Oswald did it, so he did it; all exculpatory evidence is negated, people who question the ON are ridiculed and made to feel like they are in the minority, the right people in the right places regurgitate the ON and official narrative foot soldiers(pseudo skeptics) take the bat for it perpetually.

If the 911 official fairy tale is correct, Tim Osama had to get at least 15 things to right to carry out his plan, some on the same day, and these variables were not under the terrorists control. How did they know none of the planes would be shot down?
How did they know there were multiple drills of planes flying into buildings that day? The itcantbeaconspiracycauseitkusttocomplex people don't think about that...


You have to believe in master minds capable of impossible manipulations to believe in some of these conspiracies in the way they're presented.

It depends on the conspiracy. As someone above pointed out most conspiracies don't rely on secrecy, they rely on the "Don't go there" factor and the ability to control the narrative, havin a mastermind is not needed either.

The only conspiracies that I'm willing to believe have any chance of having a command of that massive scale are spiritual ones and even then Satan's plans often have the opposite result of what he intends if you believe the bible

Speaking of Satan and conspiracies, I think that if he exist than he is a AI computer with the ability to control and/or influence minds. That would explain a great deal: targeted individuals, Islam, demonic possessions and how the NWO had such staying power.

silenceandbetrayal.wordpress



Anonymous tublecane November 13, 2017 4:25 PM  

@26-I was recently reading an Antony Sutton conspiracy book, and he's a bit too insistent upon conspirators being Hegelian, but that's a good framework through which to think of it. Because how do we get to the organic state of the New World Order toward which history or whatever is striving? The old "never let a crisis go to waste" school of thought. Crises come about through clashes of interest and pendulum swings back and forth between groups who at least think of themselves as opposites.

You know, thesis and antithesis creates synthesis. For several centuries the synthesis has always been more thesis than antithesis, if you know what I mean. On the whole it ends up more left than right. The plan, if there is one, is for civilization to keep outflanking itself to the left.

Listening to leftists, you can't entirely dismiss their doom and gloom about the right always winning. That's not entirely delusional, because sometimes the leftward drift pauses or is even reversed. And that's part of the plan. Because there at least needs to be a right against which the left can declare victory, but also they want it to win sometimes to precipitate new crises.

Those crises are the best way to get One World Government, which is the end-goal of leftism.

Anonymous tublecane November 13, 2017 4:45 PM  

I read Debunking Economics, and liked the debunking part. It helps that I went in having almost no faith whatsoever in the discipline. (If you can call it that.) But at the same time, I found myself hating pretty much all his preferences and recommendations.

I also found him, as is the case with most all critics of "neo-liberalism" (don't recall if he actually uses that term), to vastly overestimate the influence of laissez-faire, free market economics. As if the discipline has been enthralled to the Manchester School all along instead of Keynesianism for a century. He sympathized with Keynes, by the way, but thinks Keynes didn't go far enough. Which should make him a lot happier about contemporary economics, if true, because that's what has a stranglehold on orthodoxy.

Anonymous tublecane November 13, 2017 4:50 PM  

@64-The easier path for those within fields acutely affected by the reproducibility crisis would be simply to stop calling themselves scientists. Freud, for instance, is much easier to swallow if you think of him as a mythologist or literary critic.

Anonymous tublecane November 13, 2017 5:03 PM  

@68-I don't find conspiracy theorists whatsoever to be more likely to be of the right. But if they are currently, that can probably be explained by their being on the outside of the Establishment and not being able to fall back upon the Consensus Opinion's authority to say "shut up and listen or you're an extremist."

In any case, conspiracy theories don't rely on belief in the efficacy of central planning. There's a difference between, for instance, the mafia obtaining dominance of organized crime in America--a conspiracy that actually succeeded--and the mafia running a successful economy. Which wasn't their goal, but they couldn't have pulled it off if they wanted to.

People who believe in the power of the Illuminati, Free Masons, Rothschilds, the Round Table, the Order (Skull and Bones), etc., don't think they can run the world for mankind's benefit. Well, not counting people like Carol Quigley, who was a True Believer.

Most think they're bad for the world and only successful at enriching themselves. Otherwise, they'd shut up and let them do their thang.

Blogger James November 13, 2017 5:31 PM  

Ominous Cowherd wrote:James wrote:The only thing Satan doesn't know is that he has already lost and can't win. Since he doesn't believe that, he keeps trying to subvert God's plan.

Whether Satan knows he can't win or not, here he is with no way out except through. What could he do differently if he were to read Revelation and learn how it all ends for him? Why do you think he hasn't read the ending?


All Satan has to do to win is to.......surrender to God. If he were to throw in the towel, all the prophecies would become false. And the Alpha and Omega would become a liar. Which he is not. Satan will not submit because his vanity will not allow it. He is the ultimate "progressive". Lies. Projects. Doubles down. Can't help himself, actually. He is as he was created.

Anonymous Icicle November 13, 2017 7:03 PM  

"Never explain by malice that which can also be explained by incompetence."

I fully believe that phrase was invented by an evil person, looking for pre-emptive cover.

I am going to say worked with affirmative action coworkers. I would say you have not encountered high enough levels of incompetence in unfireable "workers".


That directly ties into evil. Evil scapegoats. Scapegoating is an antithesis of accountability.

Anonymous Rocklea November 13, 2017 7:15 PM  

I don't think there's anyway to stop people from speculating on asset prices. It won't work for the same reason that demand curves don't stack. If you change lending practices to focus on production, _consumption_ will accelerate or prices on goods/services inflate for the same _endogenous_ reason that asset prices inflate. Even with the reduction in private debt, unemployment will still occur in downturns, but the debts will accrue to the productive businesses who borrowed for future demand.

I agree with what he says about diverse economies being better than the simple economies that free trade demand. Open source international IP, put up trade barriers and develop local knowledge base.

Blogger Lazarus November 13, 2017 8:00 PM  

Steve Keen says fractional reserve banking does not exist. Libertarian heads 'splode.

Goto minute 19

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0n5tLWGb4CY

Blogger Rough Carrigan November 13, 2017 8:09 PM  

Vox, the Federal Reserve governors in the U.S. are nothing more than figureheads. A guy named John Titus has a small youtube channel called Best Evidence. He puts out very meaty videos about the corruption and rigging of the U.S. economy. In the one at the address below, They Came From Planet Klepto, he looks at actual transcripts of Fed meetings from 2008-9, the real ones that they sequester for 5 years not the public relations account they put out almost right away.

What he finds is that the Federal Reserve staff has already prepared the actual decisions that are going to be adopted and the Fed governors are just stooges who officially vote for them. The transcripts show Fed governors sometimes puzzled at nonsensical things that are put forth as Fed policy and asking a few questions but ultimately not deciding anything. Decisions were made before they enter the conference room.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jt377DV2BKs

Blogger Lazarus November 13, 2017 11:00 PM  

tublecane wrote:I also found him, as is the case with most all critics of "neo-liberalism" (don't recall if he actually uses that term), to vastly overestimate the influence of laissez-faire, free market economics.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXSmaPGmEVU

The Alternative to NEoliberalism. In which he hat tips Marx for his insight.

You need to recalculate.

Anonymous Post Alley Crackpot November 14, 2017 12:16 AM  

"Does that make me a double-double agent?"

Double-doubled agents, they're always such trouble
Needing more oversight than you'd get from the Hubble
You accept their intel with concern and great care
Coaching them requires a reserve of savoir faire
Lest they choose to leave you standing atop rubble

"'They' don’t have a clue ..."

Tell me about it ...

They're also absolute shit at rhyming. :-)

Blogger dc.sunsets November 15, 2017 4:28 PM  

Too late comment:

A cursory glance at Keen's work didn't surface a grasp of how badly warped is the structure of production now.

He thinks it will take 15 years to deleverage (painfully.) I suggest that given how much of the US and world economy now rest on debt-enabled public spending, the pain of this cannot be overstated.

Nowhere did I see Keen notice that it was a bull run in bond prices that allowed the situation in which we exist to arise. By ignoring the asset mania in BONDS, characterized by interest rates declining to the zero boundary, he still doesn't quite understand that it's not just private borrowing but ALL borrowing that has led us to the precipice.

The entire world's economy is addicted to borrowing, and has issued a galaxy of IOU's set to either collapse in capital value or be impossible to roll over when they come due. In both cases, all of the jobs and industries that grew up these last 36 years are set to go COLD TURKEY as rates inevitably rise, borrowing becomes impossible and debt service turns into a black hole.

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