Economical with the truth

It may be a sign of the dumbing down of political discourse, that little – if any – of the British Labour Party’s leadership election race has featured a proper discussion of the economic theories and practices of the candidates. It’s slogans, sound bites, and general mumbling and mumbo jumbo. So, even if it is probably unfair to pick just one out (because it’s the only one I could find), I read Tim Worstall‘s piece at the Register – Hey, folks. Meet the economics ‘genius’ behind Jeremy Corbyn – and was hit by a proverbial breath of fresh air.

In brief, it’s an attack piece about Richard Murphy, the source of Corbyn’s thinking about economics. It is fascinating to see what is going on (or has been going on) behind the headlines, and largely ignored by the media. They are otherwise engaged, it appears.

Here’s an exert to give you a flavor:

He [Murphy] is rather proud of claiming that he ignored his university economics lectures because they were obviously all neo-liberal-inspired. So he worked the whole lot out on his own, from first principles. This rather reminds me of Bitcoin, for as I’ve said, the whole alt-coin scene has seen the fast-forward replay of every monetary and banking mistake, fraud, scheme and scam that humanity has managed to cook up over the millennia in a mere few years.

Murphy’s economics – ignoring, as it does, what tens of thousands of very clever people have found out over the past few hundred years, namely that we’ve really had “economics” – falls into the same error. It’s just too large a subset for any one brain, however large, to be able to encompass from first principles without error.

Even if economics bores you, and quantitative easing sends you to sleep, it is worth reading this piece. Then take a look at the coverage of the leadership race, and wonder when there is going to be a proper discussion of the issues. Shining some light on Corbyn’s dark places is long overdue.