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I think calling it 'reality-based economics' is a start. After that it gets more complicated - but as a goal to aim for, I think it's worth considering as a beginning.

I certainly do, too.  But your comment brings up a very, very difficult issue:  When we have two or more conflicting versions of what is "really real".  I think conservatives will argue just as forcefully that they desire -- and already do espouse -- a reality-based economics.  And when you point out to them that "if something is unsustainable, you will run out of it," they will say, "Actually it is sustainable.  Here, read this study by Professor Greenhousewarmingisnothappening, and this study by Professor Oilwillalwaysbeplentiful."

One of my best friends from college, whose intellect I hold in very high respect, is convinced that global warming is a myth (the non-reality-based kind.)  He points to several studies written by various professors challening global warming, and most of all he points to the cyclical nature of ice-ages and warming in earth's history.  Doesn't he have the same right as you to develop an economic theory based on his own version of reality?

In the end, I believe our myths must be as close to scientifically valid as possible, but we must be aware that grounding our economics and our myths in "reality" and science will not in and of itself be enough.  In addition to communicating myths to the public, we will have to back up those myths with the scientific evidence that we choose to make our own reality -- and hope that the public will adopt those scientific theories as their reality, too.

Point n'est besoin d'espérer pour entreprendre, ni de réussir pour persévérer. - Charles le Téméraire

by marco on Fri Apr 14th, 2006 at 02:08:17 PM EST
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Of course people have the right to develop their own systems or choose to believe in whatever version that is on offer. As far as people who insist global warming isn't happening, we might think they're in denial, and therefore not especially easy to deal with. And we don't have to persuade everybody. We're not totalitarians. What we do want is at least to level the playing field, rather than take the flow of non-reality-based nonsense we're subjected to now. Level the playing field and perhaps start winning the game... ;)

Yes, you're right about subjectivity, as I hinted at in another comment below: we need to examine

the base of what is false about the current economic "wisdom" and what seems to us (can't do better than that -- but either we try, or we don't) true about the real state of economic relations.

There's another reason for trying to stick as close to reality as possible, and that is that the other side really does have the communications clout to explode in short order any notions we might put out that are one-half as phantasticall as their own. Something that's too far removed from reality, as DoDo points out below, just isn't going to work.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Apr 14th, 2006 at 03:53:13 PM EST
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Something that's too far removed from reality, as DoDo points out below, just isn't going to work.

Indeed.  As "stable money" spouting financiers discovered in 1929, as Republicans are starting to discover re: Iraq, and, I'm afraid, as American and Chinese Pollyannas are going to learn if and when the dollar starts sliding down (though here I tread quickly into waters that go over my head.)

In the end, reality always catches up and sorts the less reality-based myths from the more reality-based myths.  However, in the process, bad things like wars and depressions all too often happen.

Point n'est besoin d'espérer pour entreprendre, ni de réussir pour persévérer. - Charles le Téméraire

by marco on Sat Apr 15th, 2006 at 12:45:05 AM EST
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