Although this (Fixing the Economy) appears to be an “objective” (or “goal”?) of many, if you think a bit deeply, “the economy” isn’t a “thing” capable of “fixing”.

A process that would take decades and whose action (fixing) would be continually modified during the duration, stretches the meaning of “fixing”.

An “economy” is a complex sub-system of a whole Societal/Cultural system; and is itself a holarchical sysnet of other subsystems and component systems.  Even to “fix” the monetary system takes us beyond the metaphor of “fixing”. No economic subsystem could withstand being significantly changed by a radically improved educational subsystem.

Within any interacting population of human persons there is a pattern of exchange, and resources being processed & distributed to meet needs. We can label this subsystem an “economy”. When organized persons in the population conceptualize this subsystem, measure aspects of it, and attempt to influence it according to models – we have a conceptual scheme, which may or may not accurately represent what is really happening. Does THE economy ever “exist”, or are there many interacting economies, like societal organisms in an ecology?

So long as humans live, there will be “real economies”, which are never observed. Humans observe processes that are components actions “reality”. However, “economies” are patterns in the mind/brains of humans. To claim that humankind has literal things, like economies, that exist as distinct entities (like you or your home) is a fiction, or as philosopher Bruno Latour calls, “phantoms“. Yet, because of our loose use of language, we approach them as objective machines capable of fixing. I speculate that these societal phantoms may exhibit weirdness analogous to quantum weirdness – for hypothetical things we can’t directly observe.

What actually happens when a new population, like Russia in 1917 or our colonies in the late 1700s, “establish an economy”? It is not constructed like one builds a house, yet we use the metaphor. At any time, how much of an economy is locked into the physical infrastructure of the society? How much is our “just in time” production/distribution system dependent on The Internet? How is the global economy being determined by computer systems (and the geeks that run them), inventing different mathematical measures of value (e.g., derivatives) and the process of gambling?

I recommend we shift our attention from “fixing the economy” to exploring how new populations organizing/learning can begin experimenting with alternative economies (properly integrated with other societal subsystems) for themselves. An uplift movement org, emergent from humans comprehending the UPLIFT conceptual scheme, would form unique economic subsystems.

Contemporary economic theories that use mathematics makes assumptions that aren’t valid. This is acknowledged by top economists, but rationalized away in practice. This was pointed out to us by Kenneth Arrow at a seminar in 1967.

1) Value is not transitive.  You may value A over B, and B over C, but not A over C. Yet, mathematical economics assumes the transitivity of preference. Economists have gone to extremes in defining “preference” to justify their use of mathematics in economics.

2) Statistical computations, as used by economists, require that the numbers be on a ratio scale for the computations to be valid. Most numbers used in economics aren’t a ration scale.  For example, the value interval between 90 and 95 must be proven equal to the value interval between 67 and 72 (or any other interval with a 5 difference). This is seldom the case for human created scales. It is invalid for teachers to assign equal value to different questions in a test, or average different test scores.

The same argument can be used to question any attempts to FIX human systems. Our educational systems can’t be fixed, nor our governance systems, etc.  The false concept of fixing human systems, is simplistic and exploited by many political “leaders”, such as Donald Trump – ONLY HE CAN FIX THE SYSTEM! His followers believe in fixing.

Author: nuet

01/24/1935. BS-physics RPI 1956; MS-physics UofChicago 1958; PhD-physics Yale 1965; PhD-Edu Psy Uof MInnesota 1970. Auroral Research Byrd Station, Antarctica 11/1960-02/1962. MINNEMAST curriculum dev 1964-68. Woodstock. faculty Pima Community College, Tucson 1974-1997. Transdisciplinary scientist, philosopher, educator, futurist, activist. PC user since 1982. "Wife". daughter, 2 grandsons. 5 dogs & 7 cats. Lacks mental imagery in all sensory domains.