This post I wrote for the New School Economic Review blog seems relevant again in light of Paul Romer's paper on "mathiness." It's a shame when heterodox economists get raked over the coals for criticizing the bad math of mainstream economics. Here's what I wrote back in December:
In the mainstream of economics, we find instead a core of ideologues – high priests interested in indoctrinating their students with a mathematical metaphysics out of accord with actual evidence. These reactionaries latch onto any theory which fits their dogmatic canon and runs on the presumption that markets and privatization are good. Since the 1960’s up until the present the discipline has shifted not only rightward, but inward. Those who object to the theoretical underpinnings of economics by demonstrating them to be inconsistent, misguided, or circular are pushed to the margins of the profession and met with a wall of silence. So, who is really protesting against mathematical formalism?