Category Archives: Concomitance

Schumpeter, Cantillon, Quesnay, Leontieff; The Single Paragraph for Consideration Today [#66]

[12/9/19] Schumpeter, Canton, Quesnay, Leontieff: … it will be well at once to draw attention to J.A. Schumpeter’s insistence on the merits of the diagram as a tool. (Schumpeter, History 240-43, on the Cantillon-Quesnay tableau.) … First, there is the tremendous simplification it effects. From millions of exchanges one advances to precise aggregates, relatively few in number, and hence easy to follow up and handle. … Next come the possibilities of advancing to numerical theory.  In this respect, despite profound differences in their respective achievements, the contemporary work of Leontieff may be viewed as a revival of Francois Quesnay’s tableau economique. Most important is the fact that this procedure was the first to make explicit the concept of economic equilibrium.  All science begins from particular correlations, but the key discovery is the interdependence of the whole.… While it is true that a tableau or diagram cannot establish the uniqueness of a system or rigorously ground its universal relevance, it remains that the diagram (of the interconnections of a few precise aggregates) has compensating features that Quesnay’s system of simultaneous equations may imply but does not manifest. … There is the tremendous simplification (a diagram) effects the aims and limitations of macroeconomics make the use of a diagram particularly helpful, …  For its basic terms are defined by their functional relations.  The maintaining of a standard of living (distinct process 1) is attributed to a basic process, an ongoing sequence of instances of so much every so often.  The maintenance and acceleration (distinct process 2) of this basic process is brought about by a sequence of surplus stages, in which each lower stage is maintained and accelerated by the next higher.  Finally, transactions that do no more than transfer titles to ownership (distinct process 3) are concentrated in a redistributive function, whence may be derived changes in the stock of money dictated by the acceleration (positive or negative) in the basic and surplus stages of the process. … So there is to be discerned a threefold process in which a basic stage is maintained and accelerated by a series of surplus stages, while the needed additions to or subtractions from the stock of money in these processes is derived from the redistributive area. … 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 and 177] [#66]

Diagram of Rates of Flow 2

Diagram of Rates of Flow

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A Superior and Far Less Expensive Macroeconomics Textbook

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 abstract primary 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 formal cause
  • 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.


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)



The Process is Always the Current, Purely Dynamic Process, etc. (See full title specification below.)

The process is always the current, purely dynamic process.  The analysis is purely functional, purely relational and explanatory analysis.  The theory is general and universally applicable  to concrete determinations in any Instance; The theory is a normative theory having a condition of equilibrium.

Our subheadings in this treatment are as follows:

  • Always the Current Process:
  • A Purely Dynamic Process Requiring a Dynamic Heuristic:
  • A Purely Functional Analysis:
  • A Purely Relational, Explanatory Analysis:
  • A Theory, General and Universally Applicable to Concrete Determinations in Any Instance:
  • A Normative Theory Having a Condition of Equilibrium:

Always the Current Process: Continue reading

New Foundations in 10 Minutes

New foundations for a new science of macroeconomics are grounded in

  • a scientific, dynamic heuristic
  • the technique of implicit definition
  • precise, purely relational, analytical distinctions between fundamental terms representing functional flows of products and money
  • the functional interrelations among these interdependent, mutually defining, explanatory functional flows

Continue reading

Larry Summers; The Foundations for Macroeconomics

Larry Summers is the esteemed former Vice President of Development Economics and Chief Economist of the World Bank, (1991–93), senior U.S. Treasury Department official, ultimately Treasury Secretary (1999–2001), former director of the National Economic Council for President Obama (2009–2010) and former president of Harvard University (2001–2006).

Larry’s Blog of 9/13/2018  asked questions and gave suggestions regarding establishing new foundations for macroeconomics.

As we did in our blog of 9/11/2018 regarding Ray Dalio, let us say in the beginning what we say near the end:

Finally, Larry states that “the arguments that Gennaioli and Shliefer make need to be debated in the profession.” Let us suggest that, before Larry calls for debates among macroeconomists about the obvious inadequacy of present foundations, the entire macroeconomics profession must study carefully Bernard Lonergan’s Macroeconomic Dynamics.  That book has already brought insights from mathematics, physics, and scientific method to the discovery of a radically new foundation. Also, let us advise them how not to react in their reading.  Initially they will find Lonergan’s Functional Macroeconomic Dynamics radically different from the static Walrasian structures they have long espoused and depended upon; they might be inclined gradually to rationalize against its method and tenets; then, instead of embracing it, they might seek arguments to defend themselves against it; finally, having mistakenly persuaded themselves that it is a waste of their precious time, they might put it aside. However, if they courageously and carefully power through Lonergan’s dynamics 3-5 times, they will find themselves saying, “Whoa!  Bernard Lonergan operated from a more profound point of view and discovered a deeper unity in macroeconomics.  With his understanding of what constitutes science and explanation and with his employment of the technique of implicit definition, this polymath has successfully applied his expertise in math, physics, and scientific method to discover a new field theory of macroeconomics, a new paradigm, a whole new theoretical combination of foundation and superstructure which explains both the normative equilibria and maladaptive disequilibria of the intrinsically cyclical, dynamic economic process. This is something of a Copernican Revolution.” Then, rather than calling for debates, let Larry call for elucidation, elaboration and implementation of Functional Macroeconomic Dynamics at the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Federal Reserve Board, textbook publishers, colleges, and universities. Continue reading

Textbook Flaws and Deficiencies

The popular textbooks of Macroeconomics – by N Gregory Mankiw, Paul Krugman and Robin Wells, Olivier Blanchard, Andrew B. Abel and Ben S. Bernanke, William J. Baumol and Alan S. Blinder – suffer in common from several flaws.  Our subheadings immediately below and the pointers thereafter point out flaws and deficiencies in textbooks commonly used in higher education. Though the treatments in this section are not exhaustive, they are sufficiently provocative; they should stimulate careful scrutiny of, and skepticism regarding, many traditional and conventional tenets.  Finally, though the treatments in this section are relatively brief and often primarily referential, there is a lot of ground to cover; so, we will underline and publish as time allows.

  1. This Introduction
  2. The nature of the current, purely dynamic economic process
  3. Scientific macroeconomics explains rather than merely describes
  4. A theory of macroeconomics must be independent of human psychology and anthropology
  5. The author of a textbook must employ a scientific and dynamic heuristic
  6. Real Analysis (read more)