Worth the money to be paid for it

That book for free thing contains this:

The type of economics that I address in this thread and
chapter is what is described as macroeconomics. This is
that part of economics that deals with the economies of
countries and governments. It also addresses issues such
as government income and spending, and so tax, as well as
the national debt, the role of central banks, inflation and
the balance of trade.
It is an aspect of economics that, despite its importance,
engages only a very small part of the economics profession.
The vast majority of economists deal with microeconomics.
That part of economics deals with the behaviour of
individuals, companies and markets.
Economists like microeconomics because it can be used to
construct deeply theoretical, largely mathematical, models
of behaviour that, if truth be told, tell us very little at all
about how real people, companies or markets behave. That
is because of the simplifying assumptions that too many
economists use in the course of their work.

The usual criticism is that macroeconomics is plagued with vast mathematical models which assume much and explain little while microeconomics is at least rooted in a certain observation of actual human behaviour.

As the best waiter might say, ‘Enjoy’.

Well, yes, the book therefore being about as useful as the average waiter’s ruminations upon economics.

18 thoughts on “Worth the money to be paid for it”

  1. But wait – ‘There’s more’

    ‘Third, I want the book to reach as many people as possible. Some have said that the content is ‘mind-blowing’, simply because it demands that we reverse much of our order of thinking about the way the government, and its finances work. Others have seen in what I have suggested answers to issues that have long perplexed them. And I hope teachers might use this to provoke debate, whether in classrooms or in more general debate.’

    I am laughing at the fact that the book derives from Twitter threads which have proved to be ‘so popular’ when the guy has blocked 30,000 users on Twitter who he deems to be ‘trolls’ but who if allowed to comment would eviscerate the ideas as unworkable, not new at all but merely a rehash of stuff that was novel in the 1960s and utterly unconnected with the real world.

    It does also make something of a mockery of his pleas of poverty that this content can’t even get a publisher…

  2. It isn’t just a criticism.. It’s a general and mathematically proven principle in modelling:

    The greater the abstraction, the less it tells you about what happens at the individual/detail level.

    E=mc² is true, but it doesn’t tell you in any way in which form and which distribution that E is manifested.
    Entropy always increases, yet we are literally living examples of negative entropy.
    Macroeconomics describes an economy at a national or global level. It does not tell you anything about individual transactions, because by the nature of the math used it cannot.

    How anyone who daily proves he does not grok this very fundamental limitation of models and math has been allowed to teach at ….well… anywhere is beyond me.

  3. The Meissen Bison

    As the best waiter might say, ‘Enjoy’.

    That says something about the kind of restaurant he frequents.

  4. View from the Solent

    Grikath –
    “Entropy always increases, …”
    In an isolated system.
    “…, yet we are literally living examples of negative entropy.”
    We don’t live in an isolated system. Energy is pouring onto the earth at a furious rate.

  5. I know it’s Spud, but how could anyone get the difference between micro and macro economics so arse backwards? When I studied economics at degree level so many moons ago I was fine with the micro aspect but I found the mathematics employed in macroeconomics frankly beyond my skill level. How I ever passed my finals still amazes me.

  6. My wife and I are watching Fargo again (streaming on All 4). There was a great line on last night’s episode.

    “He balances his lack of common sense by an excess of self-esteem”.

  7. Dennis, Noted Non-Economist

    I know it’s Spud, but how could anyone get the difference between micro and macro economics so arse backwards?

    You’ve answered your own question.

  8. Surely anybody who has ever observed any part of the real world for any fraction of time would realise it’s easier to model larger systems than smaller systems. One gas particle? Impossible. A quintillion gas particles in a container? Perfect ideal fluid. One drop of pee? Impossible. A continuous steady-state stream of pee? One fist mashed at a keyboard? The stream of words coming from that keyboard? You don’t have to have read about phychohistory to realise this exists.

  9. Tim is wrong. It’s not worth what you pay for it. This book has a negative value – people should be paid vast sums to read this wibble.

  10. Ken

    Many of the people posting approving comments on Twitter have an economic impact which is negative- almost all are in academia or the non- productive public sector

  11. @van_patten
    Good point, Ritchie never does anything for free. I wonder how many publishers rejected this before he did it himself as a vanity project.

  12. @View from the Solent: thanks for doing the correction for me. Life is a temporary manifestation of negative entropy in complex carbon compounds.

  13. @View and Cris. Ummm.. Yeah… You’re both missing something and conflating the first and second law of thermodynamics.

    Hint: the first Law is about closed systems. The second, by its very nature, is very much not.

    And Chris, please repeat after me: “Net reaction equations do not describe the full reaction path, nor do they describe which path was taken to get the net result.”

    As a point: this , your “complex carbon compounds” are represented there as “biomass”.

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