Why economists do not convince folks?Journal: The Digital Scholar: Philosopher’s Lab (Vol.2, No. 4)
Publication Date: 2019-12-26
Authors : Tommaso Ostillio;
Page : 168-174
Keywords : UBI; general equilibrium theory; economics; neoclassical economic theory; rationality;
This paper argues that economics is epistemologically limited in at least two main ways: first, economics fails at managing uncertainty as effectively as natural sciences do; second, economics assumes that rational patterns of utility maximization are real just to ensure deduction within economic models. Hence, this paper maintains that the high level of abstraction from reality of economics limits its explanations of its constantly changing ontology, i.e. markets. In particular, this paper shows that the epistemological limitations of economics become evident once two examples from today's world are considered, namely: the substitution of physical labor with AI-powered machines; and the introduction of the so-called Universal Basic Income (UBI), i.e. governmental stipends paid to those citizens whose job has been replaced by machines. Importantly, this paper argues that if an economy were to reach to the point where machines run any sort of private or public business and humans earn only the UBI, then such a situation would represent a limit case for economics. Indeed, this paper finds that although machines would represent the perfect example of rational utility-maximizers, in such a limit situation standard economic theory would most likely fail at predicting long-term economic out-comes.
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