Author Archive

Concepts for a New Generation of Global Modelling Tools: Expanding our Capacity for Perception

It is now twenty years since the issues associated with the global ‘problematique’ were widely publicized in Limits to Growth, the pioneering study commissioned by the Club of Rome. In the meantime much has been written, but real action that might lead to a more harmonious and sustainable future has not been forthcoming. Indeed there is evidence that these issues are becoming even more threatening to humankind. There is an apparent inability of human societies to address the global problems of sustainability identified by the Club of Rome twenty years ago. Read More

On the Need for New Economic Foundations: A Critique on Mainstream Macroeconomics

The body of macroeconomic theory known as the neoclassical-Keynesian synthesis, hereafter mainstream macroeconomics, has dominated the practice of economics since the middle of the twentieth century and is largely unchallenged in institutions that teach economics. Not only does mainstream macroeconomics underlie monetary and fiscal policies intended to promote economic growth, full employment, and price stability, but it also provides the lens through which economic activity is measured and performance is evaluated. Most importantly, it has spawned a generally accepted ideology or conventional wisdom that frames economic issues and ‘acceptable’ policy responses to them. Woe to the economist or politician who strays beyond the constraints imposed by the beliefs emanating from this body of theory. Mainstream economic theory has always had its critics, but the failure of mainstream economists to predict the collapse of 2008 and the failure of the policy responses to the crisis have stimulated a new round of criticism. This paper surveys a range of criticisms made by economists and non-economists alike and finds that grounds exist for the rejection of mainstream macroeconomic theory. It is mathematically incoherent and irrelevant insofar as the assumptions upon which it is based are not supportable; its concepts are abstract and not measurable, and not capable of addressing the real questions of sustainability, economic stability, power, justice, and equity that affect the human condition. The conclusions reached are: 1) mainstream economic theory took a profoundly wrong path in the mid-twentieth century 2) foundations for a new synthesis of economic thinking are needed capable of addressing the issues that emerged in the late 20th century and integrating findings from other sub-disciplines of economics and other sciences. Read More