The economic process always is “the current process” constituted by current interdependent velocitous flows of so-much or so-many every so often.
The productive process is, then, the (current)aggregate of activities proceeding from the potentialities of nature and terminating in a standard of living. Always it is the current process, and so it is distinguished both from the natural resources, which it presupposes, and from the durable effects of past production. [CWL 15, 20]
The goal of scientific analysis is explanation of the objective economic process, i.e. to discover the abstractimmanent intelligibility which explains any particular configuration of flows of products and money in any instance. Such immanent intelligibility would be always relevant and universally valid. (Continue reading)
On the hundredth anniversary of Pope Leo XIII’s Encyclical, Rerum novarum, Pope John Paul II issued the Encyclical, Centesimus Annus, treating The Good of Order, the dignity of humans, the dignity of work, the right to private property, the right to freedom, the evils of Marxist totalitarianism, and the foundation of society in truth..
John Paul II (1991), Centesimus annus, (Encyclical Letter on the hundredth anniversary of Rerum novarum), Vatican
Centesimus Annus should be read by all economists who seek to be open-minded thinkers having broad perspectives, a hierarchy of values, and thus an understanding of the difference between the concepts of liberty and totalitarianism, morality and immorality, right and wrong. (Continue reading)
Macroeconomists must grasp the difference between economic value and exchange value.
… Adam Smith and all the proponents of the “labor” theory of value were never able to clarify the relationship between exchange value and “toil and trouble” as the measure of value. Lonergan shifted the issue entirely by explaining that an “economic value relates an object to human effort, but an exchange value relates objects among themselves.”31 (CWL 21, 31)[Fred Lawrence; “Money, Institutions, and The Human Good,” in Liddy, 2010, 183-84]
… , like Smith, Locke, Ricardo, and Marx later on, Aristotle did not seem to understand money in terms of exchange value, and therefore as relating objects among themselves in relation to the concomitance or lack of concomitance between “the real flow of property, goods, and services and the dummy flow being given and taken in exchange for the real flow.”39 CWL 21, 40 Still less did they grasp that in an advanced industrial society, the real flow and the money flow are channeled within two separate circuits of production and circulation functionally distinguished into producer goods and consumer goods, and operating in real timein accord with distinct phases of expansion. Besides misunderstanding money of account, they misunderstood the relationship of money to time. [Fred Lawrence; “Money, Institutions, and The Human Good,” in Liddy, 2010, 186] Continue reading →
4/7/2021: Yahoo Finance today featured an article by Julia La Roche entitled ‘The fault line is inequality’: J.P. Morgan’s Dimon calls for fixing America’s ‘self-inflicted’ problems.La Roche was reviewing the Public Policy section of Dimon’s 67-page Chairman and CEO Letter to Shareholders. Mr. Dimon seeks to end the nation’s self-infliction of problems threatening the culture, the economy and the polity. He particularly regrets “false arguments of fanatics, the certitude of ideologues and cycles of intolerance.” Continue reading →
Free open markets work better than central bureaucracies.
The excellence of the exchange solution becomes even more evident when contrasted with the defects of a bureaucratic solution. The bureaucrat … (gives the people) what he thinks is good for them, and he gives it in the measure he finds possible or convenient; nor can he do other wise, for the brains of a bureaucrat are not equal to the task of thinking of everything; only the brains of all men together can even approximate to that. … when a limited liability company has served its day, it goes to bankruptcy court; but when bureaucrats take over power, they intend to stay. … when the pressure of terrorism is needed to oil the wheels of enterprise, then the immediate effect is either an explosion or else servile degeneracy. … the exchange solution is a dynamic equilibrium resting on the equilibria of markets. … every product of the exchange economy must mate through exchange with some other product, and the ratio in which the two mate is the exchange value. The generality of this equilibrium makes it indifferent to endless complexity and endless change; for it stands on a level above all particular products and all particular modes of production. While these multiply and vary indefinitely, the general equilibrium of the exchange process continues to answer with precision the complex question, Who, among millions of persons, does what, among millions of tasks, in return for which, among millions of rewards? Nor is the dynamic solution unaccompanied by a continuous stimulus to better efforts and more delicate ingenuity. For the uniformity of prices means that the least efficient of those actually producing will at least subsist, while every step above the minimum efficiency yields a proportionately greater return. (CWL 21, 34-35)
In the first section .I., we’ll list a) a ranking or scale of preferences of meanings and values within the ecology in which humans live, b) money’s values from different points of view, and c) an ordered hierarchy of economic activity. In the second section .II., we’ll add detail to that scale of preferences and situate money’s values and the ordered hierarchy within the scale. Finally .III., we’ll display excerpts to point readers to original sources. One might find this outline useful when reading A Must-Read: Fred Lawrence, “Money, Institutions, And The Human Good”: An Ordered Perspective Distinguishing Social and Monetary Values. Lawrence points out that Lonergan properly clarifies the concept of exchange value in a free exchange process so as to destroy with a single stroke the mistakenconcepts of Adam Smith, John Locke, David Ricardo, and Karl Marx.
Not only do feelings respond to value. They do so in accord with some scale of preference. So we may distinguish vital, social, cultural, personal, and religious values in an ascending order. (CWL 14, 31-2/32-3) (Continue reading)
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.
For an ordered perspective on the role of culture in the ecology consisting of the schemes of recurrence of a) technology, b) production and exchange, and c) politics, one should read Fred Lawrence’s article, “Money, Institutions, and the Human Good.”Continue reading →