This assertion that economics is not a science (Joris Luyendijk, Opinion, 12 October) was verified by the article preceding it (Money machine didn’t work – so keep it switched on). This apparently is the only advice that the IMF can give in these unprecedented times, where debt is the only growth industry and negative interest rates are being considered as a means of not solving but perpetuating this uneconomic, unsustainable situation.
I am a biologist, a very expansive science, and as such I have an understanding of energy transfer, production and growth, self-sustaining systems, feedback mechanisms, carrying capacities, natural selection and evolution. Unfortunately, economists do not have such a broad understanding of the natural world in which they operate. They also seem to be woefully unaware that the functioning of any activity involving humans, such as money-dealing, cannot be described by a mathematical formula but will be determined by the behaviour and mindset of the people doing the deals.
Removing regulations that governed money-dealing obviously encouraged those involved to behave unlawfully. The great god market forces has become a sentient being that feels excited or depressed and whose behaviour has been manipulated by corporate practices and the criminally minded. The “need” to have increased economic growth of any kind (increased consumer activity and indebtedness, for instance) is obviously unsustainable. As any biologist knows, unregulated growth is cancerous and a danger to someone’s health.
Melton Constable, Norfolk
I’m very well and widely educated, me. And then I prove that I don’t have the first clue of the subject under discussion, what economists define as growth.
They measure the value added in an economy. Why an increase in value added is cancerous is anyone’s guess really.