The field of study known as economics and the practitioners in that field — economists — often make things seem unbearably complicated. And to be fair, the realm of an economy, with all its various actors, values, motives, relationships and the impossibly tangled webs of causes and effects between them is a very complex field of study. And given that level of complexity, it is certainly true that saying anything of interest about some aspect of such a system would by necessity be saying something pretty complicated. 

On the other hand, no matter how complex an economic system is, nor how complex an economist’s description of it may be, rocks still fall down when you drop them. 

Fundamentally, when seen as a unity at the level of their appearance as objects, even the most complex system must satisfy the relatively simple set of constraints that act on all objects at the level of their appearance. At the most fundamental level of manifest reality that we know about, the laws of physics are the kind of relatively simple constraints that I am talking about. If you drop a rock, it falls down. There is no set of relationships between the internal components of a rock that will make it fall up if you let go of it. 

Similarly, there is no set of relationships among the internal components of an economy that will allow it to borrow its way out of debt or create wealth via printing money. 

So when someone named Greenspan or Bernanke tells you otherwise, invariably through obfuscating the obvious by invoking a mind-numbing complexity within an arrogant rant of pontificus proportion, it can be useful to boil their claims down to basics and give it the rock test. If they are telling you the equivalent of “when we let go of the rock, it will fall up”, you can be sure they are full of shit. 

And they are.