Debunking Economics : The Naked Emperor Dethroned? v. 2 Paperback
by Steve Keen
Debunking Economics exposes what many non-economists may have suspected and a minority of economists have long known: that economic theory is not only unpalatable, but also plain wrong.
When the original Debunking was published back in 2001, the market economy seemed invincible, and conventional 'neoclassical' economic theory basked in the limelight.
Steve Keen argued that economists deserved none of the credit for the economy's performance, and that 'the false confidence it has engendered in the stability of the market economy has encouraged policy-makers to dismantle some of the institutions which initially evolved to try to keep its instability within limits'.
That instability exploded with the devastating financial crisis of 2007, and now haunts the global economy with the prospect of another Depression.
In this radically updated and greatly expanded new edition, Keen builds on his scathing critique of conventional economic theory whilst explaining what mainstream economists cannot: why the crisis occurred, why it is proving to be intractable, and what needs to be done to end it. Essential for anyone who has ever doubted the advice or reasoning of economists, Debunking Economics provides a signpost to a better future.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 496 pages, Illustrations
- Publisher: Zed Books Ltd
- Publication Date: 22/09/2011
- Category: Economic theory & philosophy
- ISBN: 9781848139923
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Review by tonysomerset
At last finally managed to finish the book and the pain can stop. Pain because it required perseverance, pain because it was so annoyingly written at times, pain because economic theory does not rest easy with me but such an important book. A book we should all read for want of a better one. It has some tremendously important things to say, important for all of us to get a handle on.Therefore it is even greater shame that Steve Keen failed to deliver a coherent book. At times it was pure soap box ranting away, it was so repetitive, how many more times do we have to go over the self same ground, I get it. At times it was a defensive monologue answering all the hurtful pricks of the establishment rejections, sometimes patronising, but well into the halfway and a bit of the last third, sometimes well written parts sweeping you along easily with a skilful expose. He can write if only he could get rid of that chip on his shoulders and could marshal all thoughts into a coherent structure.Trouble with the soap box orator is you know it is onesided, you know there is another entirely more plausible and rational explanation, the rant invites disbelief. I am hardly going to read another book about economics. When every example Steve offers us as an 'objective' example of mainstream economics leave me speechless with incredulity, when his offering of an alternate economic theory (in a well written section) seems to so closely match my limited experience of real world I just cannot sustain any detachment. I am won over. In another section when he maps out the history of economics, again I get swept along, I begin to see that starting out with a simple profit and loss balanced book approach you would expect economics to be based on equilibrium. Just at the end, the theme that economics and a social structure, capitalism v socialism, are tied into together, is tossed in undeveloped. So what have we got, a history, a political economic treatise, an alternate economic theory, a resume of current thought and practice, yes all of those jumbled up together.But do not be put off this book is important. You do need to understand that mainstream economics is based on a simplistic view of a naive world where all real events that challenge the theory are made exceptions, assumed away so they can be ignored. Where the world response equals an individual's rational actions where there is a know stable future then times up. When events are linear and do not follow a dynamic chaotic pattern. Just a couple of examples to whet your appetite. Read the book, understand that, even if like me you dont completely buy Steve Keen, there are alternatives to the crazed mainstream economics which still govern our world.This is an important book. Demoted by a couple of stars because it fails the reader but do read it anyway.