Students Rip Open the Economic Dialectic Around the World
By Staff News & Analysis - January 12, 2015

Teaching Economics After the Crash … At universities from Glasgow to Kolkata, economics students are fighting their tutors over how to teach the subject in the wake of the crash. The Guardian's senior economics commentator, Aditya Chakrabortty, reports from the frontline of this most unusual and important academic war. – 9/11 Forum/UK from BBC Radio 4

Dominant Social Theme: Economics has been refined and has now reached a peak of perfection, at least on campus.

Free-Market Analysis: The Internet Reformation continues. The point of this article is that the Crash of 2008-2009 has given rise to an academic confrontation between professors and students regarding how economics is taught.

But for us, the Internet as well must play a role in this evolving revolution, which is apparently present on campuses around the world, according to the BBC. We've not heard about it before, but we're glad to welcome it as a meme – an evolving trend.

The problem students are evidently having is that economics today is taught as a theory of rational expectations. Here's how defines the theory:

An economic idea that the people in the economy make choices based on their rational outlook, available information and past experiences. The theory suggests that the current expectations in the economy are equivalent to what the future state of the economy will be. This contrasts the idea that government policy influences the decisions of people in the economy.

This is strange economics indeed to someone who accepts the reality of the business cycle or the idea of asset inflation generally. In fact, we know from recent history that "current expectations" are equivalent to the "future state of the economy."

No wonder students got upset. The theory defies personal observation. And it also apparently negates the idea of government influences on policy. Again, we can see government programs and fiscal and monetary policy DO influence economies.

Here's more from the BBC:

The banking crash plunged economies around the world into crisis – but it also created questions for economics itself. Even the Queen asked why hardly any economists saw the meltdown coming. Yet economics graduates still roll out of exam halls and off to government departments or the City with much the same toolkit that, just five years ago, produced a massive crash.

Now economics students around the world are demanding a radical change of course. In a manifesto signed by 65 university economics associations from over 30 different countries, students decry a 'dramatic narrowing of the curriculum' that they say prefers algebra to the real world and teaches them there's only one way to run an economy.

As fights go, this one is desperately ill-matched – in one corner, young people fighting to change what they're taught; in the other, the academics who've built careers researching and teaching the subject. Yet the outcome matters to all of us, as it is a battle over the ideas that underpin how we run our economies.

It may seem ill-matched but it fits the paradigm we regularly propose: That the Internet era is overthrowing society's "sacred cows" … or at least calling them into question. The audio program on the subject can be heard here.

The program elaborates on student dissatisfactions without being specific. They do mention free-market economists like Joseph Schumpeter. They also mention Marx, Keynes, etc. This being the BBC, we can't expect too much, eh?

Nonetheless, it is amazing that the article was written at all and comprehensively covered in a BBC report. Its presence reconfirms our theory regarding the necessary expansion of the dialectic. In this Internet era, mainstream media discussions have to expand to stay relevant.

The academic-economic discussion has apparently been bounded recently by the tyranny of "rational expectations," which has effectively excluded many other types of economics from the undergraduate and graduate discussion. Now, inevitably, the conversation must expand again. This is not a coincidence, in our view.

The gun control meme in the US has all but failed and as a result, many "solutions" no longer seem relevant. When it comes to global warming, we were supposed to be trading carbon credits by now, but that hasn't happened. Instead, the dialectic has expanded and warmists argue to their great frustration about whether global warming exists rather than how to pay for its damages.

The War on Drugs is winding down, partially because the nonsensical elements on which it was founded were impossible to sustain, in our view. Violence was supposed to be an inevitable outcome of the War on Drugs, but under the Obama administration, the BATF was caught shipping massive amounts of weaponry to Mexico. That's just one example of how the manipulation was exposed.

The directed history underlying so many of these memes has been called into question in the 21st century. It's no wonder the conversation is shifting. Of course, there are limits to what can be easily discussed in this day and age where "telling the truth is a courageous act."

Eventually, the elasticity of the "new" conversation shall run into barriers that are not easily surmountable. At this point social tension will ratchet up, as people see for themselves that the Western sociopolitical and economic conversation is in fact highly controlled even though it gives evidences otherwise.

After Thoughts

These collisions are coming. And it is for this reason among others that we encourage readers to take action with strategies to protect family, lifestyle and wealth.

You don’t have to play by the rules of the corrupt politicians, manipulative media, and brainwashed peers.

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  • Bill Ross

    not just economics is a flash point between dogmatic “professors” and aware students, some very eager to rock the boat.

    Also, law students. True story: several years ago I was contacted by an unnamed law student, asking my permission to to use the “rule of law”, which he considered to be the “final word” on the topic:

    in an assignment called “what is the rule of law?”. Permission was granted, with the caution that he would flunk if he used it and, expelled if he insisted.

    Well, the young never listen, my advice was ignored. After handing in the assignment, as most of his classmates already had, the topic of the assignment was changed to something more innocuous by the professor. The “rule of law” assignment went “down the memory hole”.

  • Bill Ross

    There is also the collision between “Politically Correct” education and the market demands / needs of a productive economy that are not being met. There are two major effects of this, both causing much social conflict:

    Immigration of skilled workers (and jobs off-shoring) from jurisdictions where educational standards are “reality centric”, doing the jobs that domestic “professionals” are incapable of.

    Massive and widespread defaults on student loans, by those that have been prepared / indoctrinated to function in an artificial “economy by decree”, only to have the unseen hand of collective choice insist on an “economy of quid pro quo, the peaceful exchange of REAL value”.

    Now, in the US, SWAT teams are being used to collect this state “investment”.

    For the curious, we were warned regarding social / economic engineering, long ago:

  • It is well that the tenants of western “economics” are being examined since no discipline in our modern academic world has more elements of voodoo nonsense and corruption. Unfortunately the subject is a very complex one, subject to many opinions and theories as is quite evident from the discussions here on the Bell, as recently as yesterday. The .00001% will continue to obfuscate, confusing the public with incomprehensible formulas, nostrums, and nonsense. What is remarkable to me, is that with all the economic misery in the world today, not one single country has been willing to step up to the plate and try something different! Gold coins have recently been made legal tender in some US states, perhaps the individual states will lead the way on this issue. Let’s hope so.

  • So the students are finally figuring out they’re being lied-to, and expensive tuition is being stolen from them.
    Good for them. The problem really stems from “who is allowed to teach” and “who isn’t allowed to teach.”
    Selection of teachers is the perfect pivot point for sociopathic control of any school, K-12 through PhDs.

    Economics ISN’T that hard to figure out;
    John Kenneth Galbraith writing in ‘Money: Whence it came, where it went’ (1975).
    “The study of money, above all other fields in economics,
    is one in which complexity is used to disguise truth or to evade truth, not to reveal it.
    The process by which banks create money is so simple the mind is repelled.”

  • Bruce C

    The theory that “current expectations in the economy are equivalent to what the future state of the economy will be,” can only be true if one grants that each individual creates his or her own personal reality. It obviously can’t be true if there is only one objective shared reality. Any two people who hold different expectations (which is a proxy for knowledge or beliefs) – say, like an upset student and one of the DB staffers – would both have to experience the same future state, thus contradicting the theory.

    Now, according to “esoteric philosophy” each individual does indeed form his or her own unique dimension of actuality that manifests precisely that physical equivalent of one’s beliefs and expectations. However, I don’t expect (ha ha!!) that many people will accept that model for reality. Instead, most people go for the “official” one-world model in which we’re all in the same boat regardless of our own personal knowledge and beliefs. Therefore, ironically, the propounded theory of economics defined by cannot be true, at least officially. Maybe that “realization” will lead to questioning who are what does affect the economy if individual expectations can not.

    • Bill Ross

      I “expect” that you are correct. Diverse expectations lead to diverse realities (constructed by the pro-active), prima facie incompatible with the “official”, one size fits all “reality” decreed / forcefully imposed by totally ignorant, corrupt “rule of man, enslaving others”

      and, we are dealing with those to whom “cannot be true” is irrelevant, at least until the “truth”, up close and personal bites THEM in the a$$, as opposed to shifting the consequences to innocent collateral damage, costing them a mere and fake “oops, honest mistake, sorry” excuse.

  • Hey You

    Well, I agree that economic theories are probably as correct as any, but one might wonder why or how economic theories can have any real relevance, given that economics progressions are typically implemented by emotional (human) responses.

  • robertsgt40

    I graduated from college over 40yrs ago(business). Almost everything taught is “theory ” with little revellance to reality. Keep in mind most universities curriculum is dictated by the state. Very important to keep the cattle ignorant as long as possible.

  • Pilgrim

    Want to try to wake someone up? Try this. I’ve done this many times, but usually it’s met with blank stares.

    Next time you buy something and there’s no line behind you, tell the cashier you have no money. Then ask the cashier if he/she would accept some non-redeemable notes of debt drawn on an offshore bank.

    Wait for an answer. They ALWAYS say NO!

    Then ask if they’ll bet double or nothing that they will accept it when they see it.

    They almost always say they will most certainly NOT take such notes of debt!

    When they see your federal reserve notes, the knee-jerk reaction is to grab it and finish the transaction and dismiss you like you’re crazy.

    What’s crazy is for over 300 million people to continue to do business using counterfeit money!

    I always carry a one-ounce genuine silver Liberty $20. If they ever tell me the FRNs are “money”, I show them the silver and explain why silver is money, but FRNs are not.

    It always amazes me how so few are interested. Some people are just comfortable with mercantilism.

  • Praetor

    Yes the collision is coming, once the youth realize, all they have now is all they will ever have. Plus, when all those lies told for the last 150 years finally come to light, the collision will be massive. The young will revolt against the fiat empire of lies, deceit and corruption. When all this debt is thrown on them, who could blame them, you could blame them for not revolting against the evil doers.

  • “The academic-economic discussion has apparently been bounded recently by the tyranny of “rational expectations, ” which has effectively excluded many other types of economics from the undergraduate and graduate discussion.”

    An economy based on “rational expectations”….??? Who thinks up crap like that…???

    At the turn of the 20th century, American business schools were the premier business schools in the world, bar none. What were they teaching…???

    They taught basic economics about production and the factors of production, about free market distribution and the returns to the factors of production and about a monetary system based on a fixed standard of value which made world markets possible. Essentially, it was economics a la Adam Smith.

    In 1933, FDR was persuaded by the banks to nationalize gold (standard measure of value) in favor of Keynesian economics.
    Via an “open letter”, signed by 700 business school teachers and professors, FDR was begged not to eliminate the gold standard. Their effort was to no avail.

    FDR’s decision to nationalize the gold savings of the American people led directly to the “Great Depression” in the late 1930s. It took a world war with tremendous sacrifice and destruction to overcome that debacle. When the Germans urged that the gold standard be restored to world trade, the U.S. wouldn’t hear of it. It’s been Keynesian economics or Keynesian “light” economics (Friedman) ever since.
    So, what happened to academics teaching of economics…??? Well, five years after FDR nationalized the gold holdings of American citizens, there was not one of the 700 academics, who signed the “open letter”, who could be found to speak against Keynes’ theory. Why…???

    Academics have to eat too. They have a mortgage to pay. It dawned on them that they were better off being friends with the central bankers who could create “money” for their salaries, rather than being dependent on the “free market” for their compensation. Academics provide a service. They don’t produce anything, and it is surplus production which pays for services under a “free market” system. Academics quickly realized that, if they supported the banks in their academic teaching, their rewards would be a steady paycheck. As an example in point, does anyone know a major university which does not have a business school which is sponsored by a large bank or has a business school building or lecture hall which has not been paid for by a large U.S. bank…??? I rest my case……

    So what is all this talk about “new” economic teaching….??? Yes, the internet is a wonderful thing, but the best thing it could be used for in this case is to study a little bit of the history of teaching economics in American business schools.

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  • william scott

    Good article, timely subject, nice to read something HOPEFUL (i.e. questioning one form of programmed MISeducation) vs. the typical “alt media” gloom and doom, in this age of “unreason!” Another reason I like many of your choices of subjects to discuss. (Cannabis legalization, to the online “awakening…”) Although “economics,” is generally a rather / redundantly dry, overly complicated read, in general. 😉

  • bouf

    Sacred cows make great cheeseburgers.