Before and during the Great Depression there was under-consumption due to chronic under-payment of workers – fewer goods and services were being consumed than available workers and plant could structure. But what of the stagflationary situation, when chronic overpayment of workers was the distortion affecting more perfluent economies? … Read more
The term solar energy means not only the direct radiant energy of the sun, but also its stored forms – plants, animals, fossil fuels.
The sun’s radiant energy is not a resource, but the result of throughput of a resource – that being the sun’s matter. … Read more
This digression takes another journey over ground traversed in the post “Digression – Resource Consumption, jobs, and ‘Hands Off’ ” and in the Foreword.
In the foregoing discussion of pensions there appears to be a contradiction – the current trend of pension payments threatens severe economic dislocation, but such dislocation slows throughput and conserves wealth. … Read more
To back up the statement that the relationship of wages to prices is not linear, consider the case of an economy where there are no wages – where all the extraction of wealth, structuring and selling of goods and services is done by slave labour. … Read more
I was reading a popular news magazine last week and two stories followed each other directly. They described events in two neighbouring continents, North and South America. Yet they might have been describing events on two remotely separated planets.
The first story was about an Italian car-industry expert who has, in the past few years, restored the Chrysler motor company to profitability. … Read more
These increases or decreases, it must be emphasised, would be not necessarily absolute, but relative to what real wages would have been, depending on other variables, if the money wage change had not taken place. It is necessary to be reminded constantly that we are dealing with an array of interdependent dynamic variables. … Read more
To repeat in another way a point discussed earlier, there is an achievable optimum flow of money through the aggregate income (wages plus social welfare) channel in relation to the flow through other channels. The optimum state is characterised in two ways: (i) full employment, that is no involuntary employment of able people, prevails; (ii) economic activity, the wealth throughput rate, is at the maximum possible within the constraints imposed by other factors. … Read more
In the Great Depression, and in the stagflationary predicament of the 1970′s and 80′s which threatens to recur as a result of the US credit crisis and the run-up in the cost of resources and food, the work could have been available to employ everyone if the money had been available to pay them. … Read more
It is necessary here to repeat a point made or implied earlier, that the level and rate of change of economic activity and the level of unemployment are to a large extent independent of one another. Not totally independent of course, each is one determinant of the other. … Read more
So, environmental conservation must be the primary goal, and economic well-being depends on it – not the other way round.
That last phrase refers to the spurious argument that economic “progress” as currently understood, i.e., increasing throughput of wealth, provides money which can be spent on conserving the environment. … Read more