The plan which eventually became acceptable, more readily under pressure of the Second World War, was that of deficit spending, whereby the government deliberately set out to spend more than they received through taxes, duties, and charges. The gap could be filled by borrowing, thereby mobilising stagnant funds. ... 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
During the 1970’s and 1980’s governments and people generally in the more perfluent nations were waiting for an economic “upturn” or “recovery” to reduce what had become chronic high unemployment. The underlying assumption was that the high throughput-increase rates, the so-called “economic growth” rates of the 1950’s and 1960’s, were normal and that the more sluggish throughput-increase (TI) rates of latter years were an abnormal phenomenon that could be expected to speed up in time through this or that brilliant policy initiative or going back to the early economics of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; or by eliminating (depending on your point of view) businessmen, unions, migrants, taxes, civil servants, or computers; or just by waiting. ... Read more
Another misleading idea used to be that capitalism and communism represented opposite extremes, opposite poles of economic theory and practice.
Proponents of communism used to believe, inter alia, that if only the world were communist there would be no more environmental degradation, no more pollution, no more problems in that area. ... Read more
It is possible for some time to consume a resource faster than its renewal rate, just as a business can for some time consume its accumulated money capital faster than it takes money in (this is only an illustration and does not confuse money with wealth). ... 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
Misnamed “Keynesian” deficit financing policies applied in more recent years to “recessions” have contributed more and more to inflation and less and less to alleviating unemployment.
These policies have come to exacerbate the very disease, unemployment, they were meant to remedy. ... Read more
The statements in this post apply particularly to the economic predicament of the 1970’s and 80’s, which may recur under the pressure of modern problems. They do not necessarily hold true for every form of economic malaise; for instance, they would have been inaccurate for the Great Depression of the 1930’s. ... Read more
Public sector employment and transfer payments are limited by the amount of revenue which can be raised, which in turn is limited by how much the private sector can provide without ceasing to be viable, or how much can be borrowed without creating a “deficit bomb”. ... Read more
This post will cross at a different angle, ground covered already.
The belief is still currently widespread, and held by persons of influence in economic affairs, that a general increase in wages will boost the economy, i.e. increase the throughput rate and its derivative by increasing consumer demand. ... Read more