Economics looks at the world segment called economy and thinks of it as a system of a finite number of discrete variables that can be dealt with a few or a handful at a time.. These might share correlations or work with or against each other. It compares to the constraints of golf. A real economy is different from what economics presupposes. A real economy has people moving against each other, looking for gaps in the system, trying to break out into new possibilities for profit or capital gains. The real economy is more like soccer, where some go for where the ball is, others for where it might be, than like golf. There must be equations? Stubborn. The real sport is in the scatter, Schumpeter’s “creative destruction”.
Economy is not just trends toward stability. These exist but are constantly undone by human action, from corruption to creativity. The economy is not a closed system of quantifiable parts, a single representative agent, but like a warm pond in springtime, buzzing, confusing, mating, devouring. The literate would say economics is baroque. Economics would be better off if it tried to characterize the economy. We desperately need good stories of what is actually happening. Quantification can be a powerful helper, but not if its culture dominates the field. As it is, Economics is mostly a submaximizer: more wealth for the wealthy at the expense of the whole. More for the whole, but existing and forseeable distribution means less for the majority.
Capital began as the birthing of cattle. The question then and now is, who owns it? It has always been an elite organized against the rest. As Rosencrantz and Guildenstern ask, “was there ever a time we could have said ‘no’?”