Author Archives: Functional Macroeconomic Dynamics

N. Gregory Mankiw Regarding The Phillips Curve

N. Gregory Mankiw wrote an article for the Sunday New York Times, 8/11/19, entitled Ties That Bind Inflation and Unemployment.  His final paragraph states:

The Fed’s job is to balance the competing risks of rising unemployment and rising inflation.  Striking just the right balance is never easy.  The first step, however is to recognize that the Phillips curve is always out there lurking.  

We have emphasized that the Fed’s responsibilities are a.) to be admonitory and supervisory to the banking system, and b.) to supply the economy with the quantity of money needed for orderly execution of the magnitudes and frequencies of operative payments.  And it is the responsibility of the enlightened private and government sectorsnot the Fed, because it does not possess sufficiently effective tools –  to manage production, employment, and philanthropy properly.  By so doing, enterprise and government can effect production, pricing, interest rates, and dividend rates consistent with the opportunities and risks in the system; and they can achieve the full productivity made possible by  the invention, gumption, and hard work of free people, yet properly constrained by the state of technology, culture, and resources.  Contrary to what Mankiw seems to be approving in his conclusion, it is wrong to assign responsibility to the Fed for adjusting inflation and unemployment in the economic process by artificially manipulating the interest rate.  And, despite all the hype about the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of manipulating the rental price of money (i.e. the interest rate), no one has yet developed the ability to separate the effect of self-healing from the positive or the negative, counterproductive effect of interest-rate manipulation. For further perspective, click here for critical treatment of the IS-LM, AD-AS, and Phillips Curve Models, including notes explaining stagflation and the need to transition from a single-circuit analysis to a double-circuit analysis; here, for Notes Regarding FRB Monetary Policy and a Theoretic of Credit; and here for Practical Precepts for Free People – Consumers, Entrepreneurs, Bankers, Investors.  Also see Summary of the Argument (CWL 15, 5-6) and The Cycle of Basic Income (CWL 15, 133-44).

Prediction is Impossible in the General Case

In his book, FREEFALL (2009, Penguin Books), Joseph Eugene Stiglitz, a professor at Columbia University and a recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (2001) and the John Bates Clark Medal (1979), states that economics is a predictive science. Now, one must distinguish between predicting a) planetary motion in its scheme of recurrence, and b) this afternoon’s weather vs. next month’s weather, or this afternoon’s prices and quantities vs. next year’s prices and quantities, all subject to to conditions diverging in space and time.   Continue reading)



Letter to The Bureau of Economic Analysis

The Functional Macroeconomic Dynamics Collaborative

Website: Bernard Lonergan’s Functional Macroeconomic Dynamics


Brian C. Moyer, Director

Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)

4600 Silver Hill Road

Washington, DC 20233

Dear Mr. Moyer,

Presently the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) publishes three general versions of the National Income and Product Accounts (NIPA).

  1. Gross Domestic Product, Current $
  2. Gross Domestic Income by Type of Income; National Income by Type of Income; and, National Income by Sector …; Current $)
  3. Gross Value Added by Sector; Current $)

Would it be possible for the BEA staff to develop a fourth which would be explanatory of the production-and-exchange process? Continue reading

The System of Abstract Primary Relativities Applied to Secondary Determinations

There is required a shift of focus by academics from the concrete secondary determinations of prices and quantities in a non-systematic manifold to the immanent, abstract, primary relativities which may be applied to these secondary determinations to reach particular laws.

Paraphrasing [McShane, 1980, 127]: Taking into account past and (expected) future values does not constitute the creative key transition to Functional Macroeconomic Dynamics.  Continue reading

A Note about Laszlo Csapo; “Economics is a Serious Business”

Peter Burley and Laszlo Csapo coauthored an illuminating article:

Burley, Peter and Csapo, Laszlo, (1992) Money Information in Lonergan-von Neumann Systems, Economic Systems Research, Vol 4, No. 2, 1992 [Burley and Csapo, 1992-1]  

In trying to find out something about Csapo, I came across an  article-lecture by Geoff Raby, from which I have excerpted four paragraphs about Csapo.

“The student protests began with the death of Hu Yaobang in April 1989. Over the weeks and months leading to the June 4 violence, the depth of the political divisions among the top leadership became apparent. As I watched wave after wave of protest groups pass by my apartment on Chang An Avenue and saw a student movement become a broadly based movement of the people until the military intervened, I kept recalling my Hungarian professor of comparative economic systems all those years ago at La Trobe University. Continue reading

The IS-LM, AD-AS, and Phillips Curve Models

In this section, we are contrasting familiar textbook models of macrostatic equilibrium, with Lonergan’s explanatory theory of macrodynamic equilibrium.  We are contrasting a macrostatic toolkit with a purely relational field theory of macroeconomic dynamics. Lonergan discovered  a theory which is more fundamental than the traditional wisdom based upon human psychology and purported endogenous reactions to external forces.  His Functional Macroeconomic Dynamics is a set of relationships between n objects, a set of intelligible relations linking what is implicitly defined by the relations themselves, a set of relational forms wherein the form of any element is known through its relations to all other elements.  His field theory is a single explanatory unity; it is purely relational, completely general, and universally applicable to every configuration in any instance. (Continue reading)