McShane’s Six Areas Of Intervention; Economists’ Massive Disorientation Regarding Basic Variables


McShane, Philip, “Implementing Lonergan’s Economics”; in Liddy, Richard M. ed. The Lonergan Review, Vol. III No. 1 – Spring 2011, Copyright 2011, The Bernard Lonergan Institute, Seton Hall University, South Orange, New Jersey

I, (Philip McShane) list here six areas of non-functional economic intervention: there are more pointers elsewhere, and more to come from our collaboration. ¶ First, then there is a matter of competence. What Lonergan envisaged is democracy of sufficient understanding of economic rhythms, … ¶ Secondly, there is the challenge of influencing school economics. … What is needed now, and feasible, is the supplementing of present texts – that have to be taught in fairness to students – with a few initial classes that, as well as raising the issue of the good life and good credit, raise bluntly the deep yet obvious mistake that I mention next.  ¶ Thirdly, there is the challenge of a multi-faceted intrusion into present economics that would draw attention to the massive mistake regarding basic variables. Ftnt. 20

Footnote. 20:  It seems best to note here a strategy not listed: that of comparison and contrast.  Present economic theory, application, criticism, is grounded in erroneous fundamental variables, and overlaid with stupidities about money, credit, market indicators, interest rates, government responsibilities.  These flaws certainly need exposure.  But the larger challenge is the redoing of the statistical work of the past century, as best we can, in the light of the new variables.

¶ Fourthly, there is the central issue … of the nature of credit, implicitly raising – at many levels – the question, What is money? … ¶ Fifthly, there is a massive foundational theoretical effort needed that is quite beyond present economists.  Without the doctrines emergent from such foundational efforts, the subtle idiocy of treating money not as a promise but as a commodity will continue its casino frenzy.  ¶ Sixthly and finally, I return to the issue of school education, … Under secondly, above , there was the immediate possibility of competent (firstly) Lonergan people persuading grade 12 economics or social studies teachers to build into the accepted course, say, my single class on proper economic variables. …



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