Just Thinkin’

Einstein said in connection with Special Relativity Theory, Everything is relativeLonergan said regarding macroeconomic dynamics, The analysis is functional and purely relational. In normative Monetary Field Theory all flows of products and payments are connected in a purely-relational, unitary, coherent system.  And coherence means that all the explanatory conjugates and equations “hang together.”

On one hand, in Centesimus Annus we affirm and emphasize the freedoms of the person, including the right to own what he/she crafts, and we emphasize the dignity of the person.  On the other hand, we note in the totalitarian system of government:

 As healing can have no truck with hatred, so too it can have no truck with materialism.  For the healer is essentially a reformer; first and foremost he counts on what is best in man.  But the materialist is condemned by his own principles to be no more that a manipulator.  He will apply to human beings the stick-and-carrot treatment that the Harvard behaviorist B.F. Skinner advocates under the name reinforcement.  He will maintain with Marx that cultural attitudes are the byproduct  of material conditions, and so he will bestow upon those subjected to communist power the salutary conditions of a closed frontier, clear and firm indoctrination, controlled media of information, a vigilant secret police, and the terrifying threat of labor camps. [CWL 15, 104]

Einstein would characterize Faraday’s and Maxwell’s electromagnetic theory as the “greatest alteration … in our conception of the structure of reality since the foundation of theoretical physics by Newton.” (quoted in Hirshfeld, 2006, p. 212) Perhaps we might say something comparable about Lonergan’s macroeconomics, gnoseology, and theology.

Let intellectually and personally weak individuals gain unmerited power and glory and many will do whatever they perceive necessary to hold onto that power and glory.  They will deceive even themselves.  They will develop a god-complex and come to consider their twisted inclinations the supreme truth. For those many, no lie will be too big; and no giveaway to buy votes will be too profligate, or damaging to the public welfare and the good of order.  So, we ask, Do our empowering systems of politics and communication – executive, legislative, judicial, deep-state, academic, electronic and print – allow the general public to become hostage to deceitful individuals?

How many socioeconomic problems are primarily cultural problems, with leaders throwing more and more money in vain at what are basically problems of culture and its ethos? A president or prime minister or chancellor must not confuse cultural problems with economic problems.  A vast educational effort is called for.

If Fay Vincent’s essays in the Wall Street Journal were gathered into book form, I’d pay money for the book.  A welcome respite from egoistic claptrap.

A Must-Read: Fred Lawrence, “Money, Institutions, And The Human Good”: An Ordered Perspective Distinguishing Social and Monetary Values.

when a limited liability company has served its day, it goes to bankruptcy court; but when bureaucrats take over power, they intend to stay. … when the pressure of terrorism is needed to oil the wheels of enterprise, then the immediate effect is either an explosion or else servile degeneracy. (CWL 15, Editors’ Introduction xxxiv)

All payments are made to people, whether as unemployed individuals, entrepreneurs, rentiers, productive workers in a unit of enterprise, or workers providing government or other services.  Only people have bank accounts, whether personal or virtual by dint of participation in an employing unit of enterprise.   Ice cream does not have a bank account.  Payment for ice cream is a final payment to the retail unit of enterprise, whose owner and employees have finally assumed the previous initial payments to humans working prior to them in the supply chain. We don’t make payments to clothes for themselves; ultimately we pay all the people in the chain of supply of clothes. All payments are made to people, whether directly or indirectly. It’s all Smith to Jones, and in what income bracket are Smith and Jones? And how does the money further circulate in the double-circuited, credit-centered system of monetary flows among tiers of compensation?

On the technology front, is the advance of technology outstripping the supply of human operational competence?

Speaking in proper grammar, with a few seldom-used words thrown in for good measure, may make one appear intelligent, educated, even honest.  But much of the content may be utter falsehood.  The real issue, then, is truth.

Incentives to able-bodied people to not work must be replaced by incentives to work.  What if the social cost of a higher rate of employment exceeds the social benefit?  What if higher employment is a slowly-ascending logarithmic function while the associated cost is a rapidly-ascending exponential function, which will cause the swindle of rampant inflation?

There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation … One is by sword, another is by debt. (John Adams, 1826)

Elizabeth Warren has not learned much macroeconomic dynamics.  (See The Principles and Laws of Functional Macroeconomic Dynamics Remain the Same; Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose.) To her, every problem exists in an isolated silo.  No functionings constituting the objective, dynamic, economic process are connected to, interrelated to, and mutually conditional to other functionings.  They are not concomitant, conjoined, linked, implicitly defined by the relations in which they stand with other functionings.  She doesn’t appreciate that Outlays are constituted by employment and compensation (Incomes) to individual persons in the breadth and depth of the supply chain.  Often she sees only one side of a two-sided coin.  She fails to understand the meaning, significance, and basis in theory of correlationconcomitance, conjoinment, and implicit definition. She fails to understand that outlays are incomes to employees, and expenditures are conjoined with compensation.  Some, though not all, of her questions and opinions are just ignorant or opportunistic political rants.

… economic developments are finite, and so, no economic development will accelerate indefinitely.  They operate against an increasing resistance, to justify Juglar’s celebrated pronouncement: “the only cause of depression is prosperity.” (as quoted in Schumpeter, History 11240)

… (the) broad backing of centralism and bureaucracy are signaled, in the long run, for phlogiston flushing. [McShane 2014, 56]

Leave a Reply