In my estimation, the primary reason that economics is not "science" in the legitimate sense, is because the field has yet to introduce models with useful predictive power (most likely because whether they know it or not, economists are modeling complex systems).
Meaning, the models of modern economics have failed to be more powerful (failed to add incremental usefulness) as compared to those econ/philosophical first principals elucidated 100's and sometimes 1000's of years ago.
The micro and behavioral models are likely more powerful, mostly because they are narrow in scope.
Excellent point. Also, the future taxpayers (now children) don't get ANYTHING in adulthood in return for their tax dollars servicing inherited debt (because these govt goods/services were consumed by their forbears). So SOMETHING has indeed been transferred from old to young. Mr. Skidelsky apparently reads Krugman--both possess an utter absence of morality on this matter (the very definition of rationalization).
Indeed, Animal Spirits require that projected returns exceed cost of capital. The Fed is doing everything possible to lower the discount rate on new venture; and the White House is doing everything possible to raise it. All the while our projected returns are revised downward in serial fashion, as the consumer deleverages.
At least this is how I explain the world to myself over coffee and toast.