[1/15/20] Ageneralization will postulate a transformation not only of the old guard and its abuses but also of the reformers and their reforms; it will move to a higher synthesis that eliminates at a stroke both the problem of wages and the complementary problem of trade unions; it will attack at once both the neglect of economic education and the blare of advertisements leading the economically uneducated by the nose; it will give new hope and vigor to local life, and it will undermine the opportunity for peculation corrupting central governments and party politics; it will require the brain trust but it will make the practical economist as familiar a professional figure as the doctor, the lawyer, or the engineer; it will find a new basis both for finance and for foreign trade. The task will be vast, so vast that only the creative imagination of all individuals in all democracies will be able to construct at once the full conception and the full realization of the new order. [CWL 21, 36-37] [#70] (Click here for previous “Single Paragraphs” or “Brief Items”)
[1/6/19] Note to proponents of neoclassical, new-Keynesian, rational-expectations, and modern-monetary economics:
An explanatory account of the intrinsically evolutionary processes of any industrial exchange economy’s cycles of surplus (i.e. producer-goods) and basic (i.e. consumer-goods) production and exchange has to reveal how the different phases in the distinct cycles intermesh and coordinate in an intelligible sequence, by means of differential rates of crossover payments from basic to surplus and from surplus to basic, depending on what phase of aggregate expansion or leveling of the economy happens to be in at any given time. (CWL 15, Editor’s Introduction lxiii) [#69] (Click here for previous “Single Paragraphs” or “Brief Items”)
A very expensive macroeconomics textbook, having 700-1000 pages, would contain a lot of interesting history, a lot of fuzzy psychology, unscientific analysis, and uncertain conclusions. A reader would not gain a clear theory and complete explanation of the dynamics of the real economic process. However, is there not a superior 228-page, far less expensive textbook right in our hands? How about this? Reword the subtitle of CWL 15 from An Essay in Circulation Analysis to A Textbook of Circulation Analysis, and let the professor instruct the serious student to read the book three times, then report back to discuss the following:
the canons of empirical method
a scientific, dynamic heuristic
the technique of implicit definition; explanatory terms defined by the functional relations in which they stand with one another
velocitous functional unities of scientific and explanatory significance replacing the BEA’s descriptive, commonsense, accountants’ unities
the structure of the lagged, rectilinear productive process
money as a dummy invented by man
the perspective of a hierarchical series of monetary circuits
how a monetary circulation meets the rectilinear production-and-vending process
the primary relativities and concomitance in the Diagram of Rates of Flow
dynamic equilibrium replacing static Walrasian general equilibrium
the velocity of money in terms of magnitudes and frequencies
prices are not a given and not requiring explanation; rather prices are in need of explanation
interpretation of prices, quantities, interest rates in the light of significant explanatory variables
the pure cycle and its constituent phases in the expansion of the objective economic process
the abstractprimary relativities and concrete secondary determinations in the expansion of the economic process
the statistical residue and why prediction is impossible in the general case; predicting weather vs. predicting planetary motion
the significance of investment’s monetary correlate
the ineptitude of manipulating interest rates
the explanation of government and foreign-trade imbalances by the dynamics of superposed circuits
the distinction between efficient cause and formalcause
distinguishing between self-healing and the effect of interventions
the intelligibility and explanatory power of the basic price-spread ratio
Figures 14-1, 24-7, and 27-1 in CWL 15
The student would learn much that is radically different, explanatory, and very useful; and he/she would gain a perspective or framework by which to evaluate and criticize the flawed premises and tenets of conventional textbooks and traditional theories.
Economists don’t have the methodological and conceptual toolkit needed for appreciation of FMD’s scientific and historical significance.
They don’t know what they don’t know
They’re not methodologists and don’t know what constitutes good theory.
They never read CWL 3 and, thus, they never studied the canons of empirical method, especially the Canon of Parsimony and the Canon of Complete Explanation; they have no idea of the deficiencies of their method.
Thus, they lack a purely scientific and explanatory heuristic.
They do not adequately distinguish description vs. explanation.
They do not know the type of answer they’re seeking, i.e. their known unknown.
They do not put questions in the right order to discover basic terms of scientific significance.
They are mired in muddy premises and faulty assumptions.
They are unable to employ a scientific, dynamic heuristic adequate for analysis of a current, purely dynamic process.
They don’t understand the normative system’s requirement for concomitance of flows.
They lack a background in theoretical physics. They don’t understand the principles and abstract laws of hydrodynamics, electric circuits, or field theory. Nor do they understand adequately the idea of continuity and the conditions of equilibrium in the dynamic process. They are unaware of analogies from physics applicable on the basis of isomorphism to the phenomena of Functional Macroeconomic Dynamics. (Continue reading.)
Part I. Two economic mechanisms. Two components of concrete relations. Two simultaneous roles for human participants
It is the viewpoint of the present inquiry that, besides the pricing system, there exists another economic mechanism, that relative to this system man is not an internal factor but an external agent, and that the present economic problems are peculiarly baffling because man as external agent has not the systematic guidance he needs to operate successfully the machine he controls. [CWL 21, 109]
What the analysis reveals is a mechanism distinct though not separable from the price mechanism which spontaneously coordinates a vast and ever shifting manifold of otherwise independent choices from demand and of decisions from supply. It is distinct from the price mechanism, for it determines the channels within which the price mechanism works. It is not separable from the price mechanism, for a channel is irrelevant when nothing flows through it. [CWL15, 17] [Continue reading).
Part III: A New Textbook, Lonergan’s Macroeconomic Dynamics: A Textbook in Circulation Analysis
Part IV Comments on The Federal Reserve’s Current Framework For Monetary Policy: A Review and Assessment, by Janice C. Eberly, James H. Stock, and Jonathan H Wright.
Part I: The Disorientations of Macroeconomists
One cannot help but admire and be grateful to the Federal Reserve Bank for its Flow of Funds matrices and the National Bureau of Economic Research for its GDP tables. Great information, well done! However, the Fed, the NBER, and the proponents of the DSGE methodology suffer from fundamental disorientations. The NBER’s descriptive, commonsense, national-income accounting must integrate the Fed’s data on credit and to be recast to provide an explanatory systematization of interdependent flows of products and money. Devotees must reorient themselves. (Continue reading)