The Failure of the Economists

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Photo: Beth Scupham/flickr/cc

Why their failure? This metaphor can give us an answer:

In those few minutes after takeoff as we all lean back in our assigned seats in an American Boeing 737 Max (Donald Trump is our pilot and Bill Barr is our copilot) neither we or they are aware that the plane is about to crash. Bad engineering, inadequate quality controls, overemphasis on Boeing profit margins mean nothing to us. Our thoughts are in some other direction. And then suddenly…




Greta Thunberg appearing before the UN General Assembly this year said that we are facing the possibility of extinction. Here are her words:

“We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth how dare you.”

As it was with the Boeing aircraft, our planet is about to crash. Why is it that we in our modern world are unable to comprehend this?

Why cannot we comprehend that Carbon emission into the biosphere at present pace is unsustainable, that livestock Methane emission into the biosphere at present pace is unsustainable, that nonrenewable natural resource utilization at present pace is unsustainable? Why cannot we comprehend that hundreds of millions of tons of highly toxic chemical waste, much of it non-biodegradable, dumped on land and into our oceans at present pace is unsustainable?

The reality is that the set of beliefs and values that affect the way we perceive our place in the planetary biosphere and respond to that perception have become ecologically unsustainable.

Now to the core of this essay: Driving much of public intransigence to the above is the social science of economics as it was formed during the Industrial Revolution. It needs to change. It needs to mold itself into a new form of human endeavor within a framework of planetary geological and biosphere Homo sapiens sustainability.

(Click below for my essay “American’s Existential Problem ‑ and the World’s”)

my essay)

Economists both in and out of academia continue to operate without ecological planetary conscience, without social conscience. In the profession there is little evidence of desire for change.

Responsibility for this in American rests largely in Universities the likes of Harvard, Wharton and the University of Chicago. In them and the others the Capital Market system in its original 1760 Industrial Revolution form is given inherent godly status. Faux belief in Adan Smith’s invisible hand working its beneficence on all of human society dominates. For the economists at these “Business Schools” it is like a religion.

Religious belief originates from the inner neurological depths of the human brain. As it unfolds, it becomes the source of conviction on matters relating to the “Ultimate,” expressed as an attachment to the ultimate. This can be described as an oceanic feeling in terms of awe, wonder and presence of God. One feels connected to “all that there is.” It is an awe experience that can be so profound as to totally encompass and overpower all rational thought. For many of today’s economists this describes the power within of Adam Smith’s invisible hand.

That invisible hand energy field has become our marketplace problem. The dark psychotic/neurotic side of human behavior is given limited or no recognition. As for Nature, it is something to be harnessed and controlled by ingenious human beings able to exploit the earth’s renewable and nonrenewable resources as needed. And as for population growth, it is good. More people mean more consumers.

So for those American economists in the universities, (and those gainfully employed but out of them) – and the same in nations abroad, here is your existential question and your challenge:

Do you have the courage to come forward with a form of economic thought and practice that can overcome our human vs planet economic imperfection, that can establish synchronous coexistent unity and interactive equilibrium between humanity and all other life as well as nonlife on our planet?

Your previous attempts have failed. (Marxism Leninism et al.) This time you have to get it right. The stakes are high.

We are facing the possibility of extinction.



David Anderson brings together a wide range of interests in his writings, namely; theology, history, evolutionary anthropology, philosophy, geopolitics, and economics. He has written four books. The fourth just published is about a necessary geo political, social, religious, economic paradigm shift for human survival.



My new book: Overcoming the Threat to Our Future


Dr Andrew Glikson, December 9, 2019 Global warming and the habitability of planet Earth in Climate Change by


“Climate change is now reaching the end-game, where very soon humanity must choose between taking unprecedented action, or accepting that it has been left too late and bear the consequences.” Prof. Hans Joachim Schellnhuber.“We’ve reached a point where we have a crisis, an emergency, but people don’t know that. There’s a big gap between what’s understood about global warming by the scientific community and what is known by the public and policymakers” Prof. James Hansen


2012 World Bank Report

“Without quick action to curb CO2 emissions, global warming is likely to increase by 4 degrees Centigrade (7.2 degrees Fahrenheit) above today’s normal during the 21st century and that is dangerously close to the temperature of 6 degrees Centigrade above normal that initiated the Permian-Triassic extinction event 252 million years ago when 96%* of all marine species and 70% of all terrestrial vertebrates were wiped out.”





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