Greg Mankiw is writing about Star Trek economics here and refers to Andrew Leonard‘s post, I read that post and here is a paragraph that I thought was particularly interesting…

” As Warsh explained to me during an interview three years ago, Romer’s great contribution was that he mathematically proved “that the economically important thing about knowledge is that it is ‘nonrival’ — everybody can use it at the same time.” “

Here the author talks about Romer’s great contribution was that he got the math right… Awww come one give me a break. Why are economists so obsessed with being able prove “trivial” things with Math? I think this obsession with math makes economists positive bias to ideas that are mathematically proven even when it is wrong!

I kept reading through the links to this story, I bumped into the paper written in 1978 by Paul Krugman, The Nobel Laurate Economist, here is the link to that paper. The paper talks about Interstellar Trade, given that Mr. Krugman won his Nobel for work on Trade patterns I thought it might be an interesting read… well I stopped short the minute I came across the following sentense:

In fact, I will assume that investors,  human or otherwise, are able to make perfect forcasts of prices over indefinite periods.

What a load of baloney… here is more

“The second feature of interstellar transactions cannot be so easily dealt wtih (physicists are not as tolerant as economists of the practice of assuming difficulties away).” 

Maybe this is why we don’t have bridges and other things built by physicts not collapsing on its own weight. We cannot say the same about the Theories that economists spew. This is the reason that I don’t want to take any economist seriously as they don’t have a clue what they are saying either.

BTW, I trained to be an economist and now I just look for assumptions like this and try to prove that economists who write theories that are weak on assumptions like the one above don’t deserve any credit for original work. Maybe economists should just stick to writing narratives that way atleast it becomes interesting prose to read!