May 3, 2013
Crisis:  The crisis series + Keynes vs Friedman
Prev- crisis -Next

1.  Putting "American Averages" in the crisis series
2.  Keynes versus Friedman c.s.
3.  Updated later: VERY good news about the DSM-5
About ME/CFS


I am still paying back my walk of over a week ago, but am doing a little better. Meanwhile, I will return ton the crisis.

1. Putting "American Averages" in the crisis series

This is just as I said in my title: I have added the four pieces I wrote about "American Averages" in the crisis series, because I do want a reference in it to the real facts I and others are concerned about.

This required some renaming, but I think it all got done well
2. Keynes versus Friedman c.s.

The reason to put the above item first is that I wanted it to lead up to the present item, Keynes versus Friedman c.s.

In fact, the title is and isn't apt. It is apt, because that is what it basically comes down to, intellectually. It is not apt, because Keynes was mostly ignored, except by an academic few - and what is much worse: He still is. And besiides, the intellectual issue only reaches a few and not many.

As it happens, I wrote several issues about Keynes, in Dutch, right at the beginning of the
crisis series, in 2008. (For readers of Dutch: here, here and here. There are two more with "Keynes" in the title, all written in 2008.)

I did so, because I thought then that his approach to the Great Depression of the 1930ies was the most correct one - and also I thought that it might well be implemented by the new president of the USA, Barack Obama, even though it was not a popular idea.

But it was and is a real crisis, and I thought a real crisis requires real measures. Indeed, Paul Krugman thought and argued likewise, but was mostly ignored, at least in practice.

Now that was five years ago. We have now had five years of
crisis, and it is getting worse rather than better.

So why is Keynes being ignored?

I think the reason is mostly ideological. It is definitely not factual: There is no valid proof his ideas are true, nor is there a valid proof Friedman's (Hayek's, others) ideas are true.

Economics just is - still - not enough of a real science to be able to provide clear uncontroversial and valid proofs, at least where the economy as a whole is concerned, which is what I am writing about.

The main reason Keynes is ignored, practically speaking, at least, seems to be that he cared somewhat about poor people, while those who are presently in power do not, at all: their feeling seems to be that there are too many poor people, and that the best way out of the problem is that the poor die, and the sooner, the better. See my Welfare state only for the rich, of December 20, 2012, where I quote other's evidence.

Here it is to be noted that I am not making Keynes into something he wasn't: He was solid upper middle class; he was a liberal, not a socialist; he was not at all against quite large income inequalities; and he was in favor of capitalism.

But then so are most people, and the issue is not between those who are and those who are not, but between those who want to regulate capitalism and those who do not want to do so: See my Crisis + DSM-5: It's deregulation, stupid!

As it is, those who do not want to regulate capitalism are in power: Conservatives rule everywhere in the West, however they call themselves, also in the United States.

So what seems most probable under that manner of regime is a further destruction of the welfare state and a further built up of the surveilance state.

This is what has been happening now for some 12 years - and behold the great social happiness this has brought.

And either there is no escape of this or - more likely, I stil think - there is going to be some screw loose, possibly in Great Britain, and some major changes are going to happen, that still need not involve a total social collapse.

3.  Updated later: VERY good news about the DSM-5

There just arrived some VERY good news about the DSM-5: The NIMH-director Thomas Insel has decided to reject it:
Transforming Diagnosis

In a few weeks, the American Psychiatric Association will release its new edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). This volume will tweak several current diagnostic categories, from autism spectrum disorders to mood disorders. While many of these changes have been contentious, the final product involves mostly modest alterations of the previous edition, based on new insights emerging from research since 1990 when DSM-IV was published.
While DSM has been described as a “Bible” for the field, it is, at best, a dictionary, creating a set of labels and defining each. The strength of each of the editions of DSM has been “reliability” – each edition has ensured that clinicians use the same terms in the same ways. The weakness is its lack of validity. Unlike our definitions of ischemic heart disease, lymphoma, or AIDS, the DSM diagnoses are based on a consensus about clusters of clinical symptoms, not any objective laboratory measure. In the rest of medicine, this would be equivalent to creating diagnostic systems based on the nature of chest pain or the quality of fever. Indeed, symptom-based diagnosis, once common in other areas of medicine, has been largely replaced in the past half century as we have understood that symptoms alone rarely indicate the best choice of treatment.
We need to begin collecting the genetic, imaging, physiologic, and cognitive data to see how all the data – not just the symptoms – cluster and how these clusters relate to treatment response.That is why NIMH will be re-orienting its research away from DSM categories. Going forward, we will be supporting research projects that look across current categories – or sub-divide current categories – to begin to develop a better system.
Ah, Lord!! That is good news! For more, see Transforming Diagnosis, but this is certainly quite a lot more than I dared hope.

More later, as this just came in.

About ME/CFS (that I prefer to call M.E.: The "/CFS" is added to facilitate search machines) which is a disease I have since 1.1.1979:
1. Anthony Komaroff

Ten discoveries about the biology of CFS(pdf)

3. Hillary Johnson

The Why  (currently not available)

4. Consensus (many M.D.s) Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf - version 2003)
5. Consensus (many M.D.s) Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf - version 2011)
6. Eleanor Stein

Clinical Guidelines for Psychiatrists (pdf)

7. William Clifford The Ethics of Belief
8. Malcolm Hooper Magical Medicine (pdf)
Maarten Maartensz
Resources about ME/CFS
(more resources, by many)

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