Category Archives: Bureau of Economic Analysis

The Ineptitudes in Central Bank Operations

This entry should be read in conjunction with the reading of The Road Up is the Road Down; The Mechanism of Rising or Falling Prices.  Also, in “the Road UP …”, note well the phrase “a merely theoretical possibility.”

Recently the Executive and Legislative Branches, through the agencies of the Treasurer and the Federal Reserve Board, have flooded the economic system with free money.  Much of the resulting surfeit of new money is detached from any productive contribution.  This free, intrinsically inflation-constituting money has had to sit or go somewhere and constitute an effect in circulations of the basic circuit, the surplus circuit, and the secondary market for stocks, bonds, housing, etc.  Thus, in order to understand the present inflationary situation, an explanatory “Essay in Circulation Analysis” is a present need.

Please keep in mind that Lonergan, in his purely theoretical essay, does not treat specifically the actual recent flooding of the money supply, and the associated ultra-low interest rates, in the two operative circuits and in the Redistributive Function.  But one can easily glean from his treatments the inflationary implications of this actual flooding and the manner of its correction.  Herein, as opportunity allows we graft onto his orthodox treatment comments regarding recent quantitative flooding.  We trust the reader to discern what are graftings and what are the underlying matters under discussion at that point. (Continue reading)

New Foundations in 30 Minutes

New foundations for a new science of macroeconomics are grounded in

  • a scientific, dynamic heuristic
  • the technique of implicit definition
  • precise, purely relational, analytic distinctions between abstract fundamental terms and relations from which a superstructure of complete explanation may be deduced
  • the relativistic, field-theoretic functional interrelations among interdependent, mutually-defining, explanatory functional flows

Continue reading

An Einsteinian Relativistic Context: Space and Time Become Space-Time; Price and Quantity become Price-Quantity; An Abstract Set of Invariant Explanatory Relations

Contents

  • .I. Relations and Relativity in General
  • .II. Einstein’s Special Relativity and General Relativity
  • .III Lonergan’s Double-Circuited, Pretio-Quantital Relativity Theory
  • .IV. The Basic Price Spread; The Co-ordinated Relativity of Three Major Pretio-Quantital Flows and the Co-operative Relations Within Each Major Flow
  • .V. The Macroeconomic Field Theory Equations
  • .VI. Concerning Verification
  • .VII. Miscellaneous Selections
  • .VIII. Conclusion

Continue reading

 

Why And How The Basic Expansion Fails To Be Implemented

In the ideal pure cycle, the long-term expansion proceeds from a static phase through a proportionate-expansion phase , then through a surplus-expansion phase, then through a basic-expansion phase, and finally into a higher static phase of greater abundance.

At (the beginning of a basic expansion) an economic system is confronted with an intrinsic test. Its success will be established if it can complete the major basic expansion and – without mishap, without inflation, without unemployment, without a break in confidence –  make its way serenely into the haven of the stationary state.  I mean of course, not the stationary state of mere backwardness, not the stationary state of stagnation when a disastrous crash follows on an earlier apparent triumph, but the stationary state that preserves all the gains of the preceding major expansions.  It is (then) content to produce their gains at a constant rate.  Its duration may be short or long, for in each case it must wait until such time as further new developments are grasped by human intelligence and eventually become practically conceived possibilities. [CWL 15, 80] (Continue reading)

The Correlation of the Need for Money With the Magnitudes and Frequencies of Turnovers

A first task thereafter will be to correlate the need for more or less money in the productive process with the magnitudes and frequencies of their turnovers.  On that basis it will be possible to distinguish stable and unstable combinations and sequences of rates in the three main areas and so gain some insight into the long-standing recurrence of crises in the modern expanding economy. [CWL 15, 53-4 and 177] Continue reading

Explanation By Gross Domestic Functional Flows To Supplement Description By Gross Domestic Product

A distinction has been drawn between description and explanation.  Description deals with things as related to us.  Explanation deals with the same things as related among themselves.  The two are not totally independent, for they deal with the same things and, as we have seen, description supplies, as it were, the tweezers by which we hold things while explanations are being discovered or verified, applied or revised. … [CWL 3, 291/316]

The analysis of the overall dynamic functioning, which we call in nominal terms the economic process, must seek the explanation of the process.   It must seek the objective immanent intelligibility among the interdependent, dynamic “functionings” which altogether constitute the process.  The functionings are rates of so much or so many every so often, and, thus, they are velocities.  And the scientific analysis must be in terms of abstract, implicitly-defined, explanatory conjugates rather than in terms of the descriptive accountants’ unities of merely legal or proprietary entities called “firms.” (Continue reading)

Debunking Marx’s “Exploitation”; The “Iron Law” of Consumer Expenditures; (CWL 15, footnote 34; CWL 21, ftnt. 14 [Editor’s Intro] and 87)

In explaining the normative pure cycle of economic expansion for which the process has a systematic exigence, Lonergan redefinedcosts” and “profits”,

There is a sense in which one may speak of the fraction of basic outlay that moves to basic income as the “costs” of basic production.  It is true that that sense is not at all an accountant’s sense of costs; … But however remote from the accountant’s meaning of the term “costs,” it remains that there is an aggregate and functional sense in which the fraction… is an index of costs.  For the greater the fraction that basic income is of total income, the less the remainder which constitutes the aggregate possibility of profit.  But what limits profit may be termed costs. Hence we propose ….to speak of (c’O’  = p’a’Q’) and (c”O” = p”a”Q”) as costs of production, having warned the reader that the costs in question are aggregate and functional costs…. [CWL 15, 156-57] Continue reading

A Commonsense Descriptive Utterance Is Redefined As An Abstract Explanatory Conjugate; CWL 15, footnotes 26 and 27

A distinction has been drawn between description and explanation.  Description deals with things as related to us.  Explanation deals with the same things as related among themselves.  The two are not totally independent, for they deal with the same things and, as we have seen, description supplies, as it were, the tweezers by which we hold things while explanations are being discovered or verified, applied or revised. … [CWL 3, 291/316]

Lonergan’s basic explanatory terms are rates of so much or so many every so often; i.e. the foundational and superstructural explanatory terms of the economic process are velocities.  What at first seem to be everyday commonsense descriptive utterances are “remeaningized”, given another meaning, or redefined, and precisely distinguished and related as functional point-to-point activities or functional point-to-line activities; and they are scientifically employed as abstract technical terms in an explanatory formulation.

Continue reading

Senator Tom Cotton’s Article in The Wall Street Journal (12/2/2021)

In the Wall Street Journal of Thursday, 12/2/2021, Senator Tom Cotton had an article entitled ‘No’ on Jerome Powell at the Fed. Senator Cotton was correct regarding a) the possibility of worst-case and less-catastrophic scenarios of inflation, b) the possibility of inflation wiping out wage gains, and c) that the result of the Fed’s policies is to boost prices in both the basic consumables (point-to-point) circuit and in the Redistribution Function’s secondary stock and bond markets.

Senator Cotton, as always, is to be admired for his courage; but he and all in government and the private sector must learn the principles and laws of how the objective economic process actually works.  A lot depends on a knowledgable government acting in the best interests of the entire populace of free people. Some would say it’s a matter of the survival of human liberty.

As we’ve quoted many times, both inflation and deflation are swindles. (Click here and here and here and here) Continue reading

Facing Facts: The Ideal Of Constant Value Of The Currency vs. The Fact Of Inflation

 

We have recited some aspects of the dynamic economic process:

    • (Dummy) money “must be constant in exchange value.”
    • Prices alone do not explain the economic process. Prices must be interpreted in the light of those significant variables which actually explain the economic process.
    • The economic process of production and exchange always is the current, purely-dynamic process
    • The economic process is an organic whole
    • The process has an exigence for a normative pure cycle of expansion.
    • Equilibrium requires the keeping of pace and balance among interdependent flows of products and money
    • Scarcity is the normal cause of inflation
    • Maladjustment of incomes is the maladaptive cause of inflation
    • Just as the surplus phase of the expansion is anti-egalitarian in tendency, postulating an increasing rate of saving, … so the basic phase of the expansion is egalitarian in tendency; it postulates a continuously decreasing rate of saving [CWL 15, 139]
    • The central adjustment to the respective phases of the process may be formulated as adjustment of I”/(I’ + I”), the ratio of surplus income to total income
    • Interpreters of prices must distinguish between real and relative price increases monetary and absolute changes in prices We have recited some aspects of the dynamic economic process: (Continue reading)