Don’t Analyse, RUN!
Economics is the study of individuals and human behavior. It is primarily a study of individuals allowed to pursue their own interests however they perceive them. The less freedom afforded to decision-makers the more questionable becomes the usefulness of economics in understanding outcomes. In the extreme, an individual being tortured confesses in order to avoid the pain. While that conforms to an incentive-disincentive calculus, it hardly represents an outcome obtained in a world of freedom and numerous choices.
The world has reached the point where governments are no longer referees in the economic play. They have become actors pursuing their own self-interest. They now dominate Western economies and their outcomes. Economics is loses its ability to foresee outcomes in a world where there is an elephant in the room capable of upsetting all plans. When the State abrogates contracts at will and runs roughshod over the framework upon which capitalism depends — private property, forecasting based on traditional assumptions becomes suspect. The sphere of free choice, while not as narrow as that of the prisoner, is begins to approach this condition. So too does coercion exercised by the State.
Economic analysis and interpretation nears uselessness as property rights disappear. To succeed in markets, business sense used to be enough. Now this understanding has been dwarfed and diminished. To win in today’s economy depends more on an understanding and foresight regarding political actions. Better yet, political connections!
Relative to economics, political actions are arbitrary and subject to influences and money. Economics depends on the rule of law, consistency and freedom. It becomes useless in a world of political influence, State-determined outcomes and outright bribery. Yet that is what we approach.
The old rules no longer apply. The world is subject to the arbitrariness of growing tyranny. In such a world Mark Grant probably provides the good advice: