Bias, and prejudice, maybe a hint of pride, certainly a lot of hubris. The economy is full of it, and so is the media. Little things like facts, or an attempt to give the full picture, are sadly amiss.
Economics is supposed to be a science, but in reality economists use their so-called science to support their personal prejudices and their pride won’t let them admit it.
Economics is to science what alchemy was to early chemistry. Occasionally, in his thirst to create gold, the alchemist actually found out something quite useful. More often than not, the useful went out with the useless in another failed attempt to create a pretty yellow metal from a hard ugly hard metal such as lead.
Talking of economists, Keynes once said: “The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence are usually the slaves of some defunct economist. Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back. I am sure that the power of vested interests is vastly exaggerated compared with the gradual encroachment of ideas.”
But Keynes was only half right. The media accept as gospel the views of madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air; they give them their twist and present the whole thing to us as if it were fact.
A world without bias, with objectivity and a desire to dig beneath the surface and find the truth is the dream. Striving for dreams may not always be practical, and rising above bias, when we are all riddled with it may not always prove possible. But one can always try.
And it is possible to strive for truth, without providing soporific analysis, too.
That’s the aim of ‘Investment and Business News’: objectivity with a twist of humour.
It may not always be realistic, but better to try, than throw any semblance of objectivity out as we dance to the madman’s tune.
And talking of madness, are entrepreneurs always rational? Received wisdom is that for an entrepreneur to enjoy the success they desire, they must throw their all at their business. Received wisdom is lying.
Sooner or later businesses fail, and in the case of start-ups most fail sooner.
That is why the books offering advice to entrepreneurs, often written by those who themselves are singing from a song sheet written by mad men, are wrong.
The entrepreneur, along with everyone else, must diversify; put his or her assets in more than just the business. And learn the joys of investment.
© Investment & Business News 2013