Starting economics all over again

In terms of physical power alone only two important things need to be said of the industrial revolution (IR). One is that it was an almost explosive release of underground energy which took off in 1775 and has only recently settled down somewhat — that is, at the time of the 2008 Crash.

It is the “settling down” that has surprised most economists, having been deeply influenced by two economists of the last century. One was J, M. Keynes who wrote a classic essay of what our grandchildren could hope to enjoy in future decades.

The other is how to achieve it — the repeated editions of the classic textbook on the subject by Paul Samuelson who has meanwhile guided the training of hundreds of thousands of economists.

It is beginning to look as though both assumptions may be wrong. It looks as though the subject of economiis might have to start all over again to get into the right tack — hopefully scientific next time.

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