Part II – List of questions relevant to the contents of Greg Mankiw’s First-Year Seminar
Part III – Repeating of the questions plus excerpts relevant toeach specific issue
Part I – Introductory
Greg Mankiw’s Blog, dated 9/11/2023, andtitled “This Year’s First-Year Seminar” (Click here) referred to his article in the New York Times, dated 9/10/2017, and titled “Getting Along by Getting Together.”Please read Greg’s article. (Click here)
The 2017 article summarized the readings of that year’s similar seminar and Greg’s statedpurpose in teaching the course.He is to be commended for his effort to get people of different economic “persuasions” to get along with one another. (Continue reading)
We try to prescind from psychology and to concentrate on formulating macroeconomics as the objective explanatory science of the dynamic economic process involving values. However, in two previous posts, we have seen fit to point out the importance of culture in the hierarchical scheme of human values. Click here and here.
We have also, in a previous post, Just Thinkin’, questioned the effectiveness of throwing ever more money at what are fundamentallycultural problems. Continue reading →
Our concern, as always, is to understand and verifyhow moneyshouldcirculate to meet the rectilinear primary process of production and sale.We seek a normative theory which scientifically explains, rather than merely describes, the current, purely dynamic economic process.The scientificexplanation will be in the form of the objective relations of explanatory velocities and accelerations to one another. These explanatory conjugates will be abstract correlations defined by their functional relations among themselves – rather than descriptions – no matter how literary and vivid –ofconditions, states, and events as they are related to us and affect us for better or worse.Our goal is to achieve a scientific explanation yielding norms to which we must adapt. (Continue reading)
In his blog entitled “Piketty in Brief,” dated Sunday, July 24, 2022, N. Gregory Mankiw asks what might be Thomas Piketty’s present thinking about inequality. Has it changed? If so, how and why? Also see on this website “Piketty’s Plight.” in which we quote Philip McShane’s claim that, unless one has a normative explanatory theory yielding precepts as to how enlightened participants in the economic process should adapt and conduct themselves, one can only helplessly and hopelessly suggest harmful bureaucratic centralist solutions – such as disequilibrating taxation and intrinsically–inflationary deficit spending. Continue reading →
We are at the heart of Picketty’s plight: he has no clue of the needed grip on the grounds of the inequality in history. So, what else can he offer but a centralist solution, taxation, to history’s drunken careening? (McShane, Philip, Piketty’s Plight, 53)
Simple-minded moralists and sentimentalists without intelligence do not provide the required normative theory which explains the process and supplies precepts for adaptation. “…man as external agent has not the systematic guidance he needs to operate successfully the machine he controls.” [CWL 21, 109]
Academics have not discovered, understood, formulated and taught the dynamics of surplus and basic expansion.
On Friday, October 8, N. Gregory Mankiw’s Blog featured Nick Romeo’s interesting article entitled “Is It Time For a New Economics Curriculum?” Greg provided a quote from Romeo’s paragraph re Jonathan Gruber’s take on CORE.
Jonathan Gruber, who teaches introductory economics at M.I.T., felt that CORE might introduce too much complexity for a foundational course. He worried that so much emphasis on the ethical and political dimensions of economics might make the subject feel like a different discipline altogether. “The question is, do you want the students to feel like they’re coming out of, you know, to be blunt, a sociology class or an economics class?” Gruber said.
On Saturday, 12/19/ 2020,John Cochrane‘s blog “Bisin on MMT Rhetoric” cited Alberto Bisin’s review of Stephanie Kelton’s Book “The Deficit Myth. “ Alberto Bisin contends, as do we, that So-Called Modern Monetary Theory, as espoused by Kelton and others, does not qualify as a theory. Cochrane quotes Bisin:
The book should be seen as a rhetorical exercise. Indeed, it is the core of MMT that appears as merely a rhetorical exercise. As such it is interesting, but not a theory in any meaningful sense I can make of the word. The T in MMT is more like a collection of interrelated statements floating in fluid arguments. Never is its logical structure expressed in a direct, clear way, from head to toe.
N. Gregory Mankiw’s two textbooks – Principles of Microeconomics (Fourth Edition, 2007) and Brief Principles of Macroeconomics (Fifth Edition, 2009) – have their first chapter entitled “Ten Principles of Economics.” The first four of the ten principles deal with the concept of efficient cause consisting in the subjectivepsychology of human participants as they make microeconomic decisions about their personal economic well-being. In contrast, Lonergan’s Macroeconomic Dynamics: An Essay in Circulation Analysis (1999) first treats the objective macroeconomic situation to whose laws the psychological participants must adapt in the conduct of their lives. Lonergan seeks the immanent macroeconomic intelligibility of the objectivesystem of production and exchange. Both Mankiw and Lonergan deal intelligently in the micro and macro realms. Lonergan seeks to treat “first things first.”Continue reading →
Functional Macroeconomic Dynamics has a definite, normative, dynamic structure. Evidently, there is a high degree of indeterminacy to events within such a dynamic structure. All one can say is the game can go all awry. But despite this almost baffling indeterminacy, it remains that there is a definite dynamic structure. [CWL 21, 211-12]
The velocities of correlated, interdependent payments must keep pace and be in balance. Payments of dummy money move atvelocities in circuits; e.g.O = I = E = R (CWL 15, 54) and O’ + O” = I’ + I” = E’ + E” = R’ + R” (CWL 15, 54) The arrows in the Diagram of Rates of Flow represent channels containing analytically-distinguished, interdependent, functional velocities. These dynamic functionings are defined by the functional relations in which they stand with one another.
The intelligibility of the concrete process consists of two components: an abstractprimary relativity expressing the normative systematic structure, and a secondary component of concrete determinations from the non-systematic manifold. There is a normativity to the dynamic structure. An analogy from baseball may help to make the point regarding interdependence and keeping pace.
A large and positive crossover difference uncompensated by action from the pitcher’s box will result sooner or later in depriving the groups at second and third bases of all their balls, or if the crossover difference is large and negative, it will result in depriving the groups at home and first of all their balls. Continue reading →