Illustration by Jon Berkerly
You’ll have seen the headlines like this one:
Scotland’s economy “precarious” and on edge of recession, warns thinktank
I hope you won’t be disappointed when I refuse to tackle the idea head on with evidence. I won’t play their game. Unionist economists, journalists, politicians and you, if you can be bothered, can go and browse through my dozens of posts attesting to the rude good health of the Scottish economy. It’s simply unbelievable.
What I will do is simply tell you why you shouldn’t give any of them the time of day or a moment of your thoughts. Here’s why I know it’s tosh without bothering to engage with them.
- Economics is not a real science. Economists can often come up with semi-plausible explanations as to why things went wrong in the past but they can never collectively predict the future. There are too many variables and human behaviour is unpredictable. There aren’t enough specifically Scottish data to use anyway.
- Economists make assumptions based on what they were taught, what their colleagues believe or what their unconscious mind predisposes them to rationalise after it has decided for them.
- Unionists consciously or unconsciously ask questions, select evidence and form conclusions that ensure they get the answers that suit their political stance. I’d do the same if I was a Nationalist economist.
- They can’t help themselves. The unconscious mind is much more powerful than the conscious mind and crucially, has been shown to make decisions split seconds before the conscious mind thinks it has made them.
- Thus, the recession if it appears will be a social construct and not a physical reality like the weather.
- When the media pick up the story it will be propaganda.
‘The inscrutability [of economics] is perhaps not unintentional. It gives endless employment to dialecticians who otherwise might become public charges or, at very worst, swindlers and tricksters.’ Jack Vance