NOTICE: FUTURECASTS BOOKS
Available at Amazon.com

"Understanding the Great Depression
 & Failures of Modern Economic Policy"
 by Dan Blatt - Publisher of FUTURECASTS online magazine.

 Explaining the Great Depression and failures of "New" Keynesian interest rate suppression policy without ideological clap trap, theory confirmation bias or political spin.

Table of Contents & Introduction
?

"Understanding the Economic Basics & Modern Capitalism: Market Mechanisms and Administered Alternatives"
by Dan Blatt - Publisher of FUTURECASTS online magazine.

Smith: Wealth of Nations.   Ricardo: Principles.
Marx: Capital (Das Capital).   Keynes: General Theory.
Schumpeter: Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy.

Economics is the miracle science. Even imperfect capitalist markets routinely raise billions out of poverty.

Table of Contents & Chapter Introductions

FUTURECASTS' COVERAGE

Debunking Authoritative Myths

FUTURECASTS online magazine
www.futurecasts.com
Vol. 12, No. 12, 12/1/10

Homepage

FUTURECASTS articles:

 

?

  Reality perversely refuses to conform to ideological expectations.
 ?
  One of the most important features of FUTURECASTS online magazine is the series of articles debunking authoritative myths. The ability to understand and reject such myths is essential for accurate forecasting.
 ?

Mere “possible outcomes” are, of course, limitless, and “desirable outcomes” are highly subjective, so these are left to others.

 

It is the basic premise of FUTURECASTS online magazine that enough can be foreseen - as substantially probable outcomes - to materially assist in the understanding of and planning for the world of today and tomorrow.

  The magazine basically publishes three types of articles. There are forecast articles, book reviews, and articles debunking authoritative myths.
 ?
  The main articles are the forward looking “futurecast” articles. These set forth the “substantially probable outcomes” that can be currently foreseen for the next year, the next few decades, and for the entire century, along with related subjects such as methodologies and evaluations. Mere “possible outcomes” are, of course, limitless, and “desirable outcomes” are highly subjective, so these are left to others.
 ?
  There is a great deal that cannot be foreseen. “The unexpected happens,” as Margaret Thatcher so wisely reminded us. If the big rock falls from the sky, it will undoubtedly change the game.
 ?
  Indeed, the unexpected is to be expected and  can be significant enough to change the game. A weak dollar increases vulnerability to the unexpected crises that are always to be expected. Significant conflicts and financial crises abroad are readily foreseeable, but not their precise timing or precise likelihood or intensity. At present, sovereign debt problems and problems with inflation afflict many nations and, in addition to lesser hotspots,  military confrontations with Iran, Korea and ultimately China are too likely to be ignored. Depending on intensity - and the weakness of the dollar - these can be game changers.
 ?
  However, it is the basic premise of FUTURECASTS online magazine that enough can be foreseen - as substantially probable outcomes - to materially assist in the understanding of and planning for the world of today and tomorrow.
 ?
  The second group of articles are the book reviews.
These are extensive and objective reviews of books on subjects that have an important impact on the other two types of articles.
 ?
  The third group of articles deal with the weaknesses of authoritative myths.
In the more than twelve years since the start of the magazine, there have been over two dozen of these articles.
 ?

The use of paints and brushes made scientifically by Dupont, doesn’t reduce the artist to a mere scientist or technician.

  Authoritative myths are defined fairly narrowly. To be “authoritative,” they must be seriously propounded by respected individuals who have recognized expertise in the subject matter of the myth, and they must at some time enjoy a considerable public following. This has generally restricted them to the four “Ps:” Professors, pundits, professionals, and Presidents. Obviously, this excludes all campaigning politicians and all politicians other than the President of the United States when speaking with the authority and presumed expertise of his office.
 ?
  The ability to foresee developments in the “soft sciences”
- more accurately referred to as the “nonscientific practical arts” - depends in large part on the ability to maintain a skeptical attitude towards the smothering flood of authoritative myths propounded and expounded by advocates of various ideologies and other interests. In such fields as political science, social science, and economics, there is no substantial access to the true scientific method - involving controlled, repeatable, step-by-step experimentation - to decisively test the various hypotheses. Thus, various contentions proliferate in bewildering array.
 ?
  Indeed, by putting the word “science” in their titles, social scientists and political scientists and military scientists start right off the bat with a blatant lie. They seek to wrap the cloak of credibility justly earned by the true sciences around their nonscientific concepts.
 ?
  These fields are not mere “sciences.” They are not “soft sciences” or “half sciences.” They are much more difficult and demanding than the true sciences. Mere expertise in technical methodology is not enough. This is why, although mathematical models have had some impressive successes in certain narrow applications, aggregate mathematical models have been notorious failures in all these fields. The use of paints and brushes made scientifically by Dupont doesn’t reduce the artist to a mere scientist or technician.
 ?

Professionalism implies “practice” and “opinion,” not “scientific certitude.”

 

The misapplication of mathematical reasoning or other inappropriate scientific approaches does nothing but confuse issues and block the sort of professional inquiry that might lead to levels of understanding useful for practical application.

  These fields are “professional” fields - like law and accounting and the delivery of medical care - requiring professional modes of thought and inquiry. Professionalism implies “practice” and “opinion,” not “scientific certitude.” (Yes, I know, not even “a scientific certainty” is an absolute certainty, and "scientific certainties" fill a wide reliability spectrum.) The misapplication of mathematical reasoning or other inappropriate scientific approaches does nothing but confuse issues and block the sort of professional inquiry that might lead to levels of understanding useful for practical application.
 ?
  And there are a host of ideological groups and other groups with vested interests in sowing confusion and smothering any attempt at objective analysis of pertinent issues in the practical arts fields. All too often, it is “commitment” that is valued above “truth” or “validity.”
 ?
  To truly understand both historic and current developments in these fields, it is thus essential to understand the weaknesses of the pertinent authoritative myths that have proliferated over time. To have any chance of understanding the probable course of events, it is essential to understand the weaknesses of the wide array of currently pertinent authoritative myths.
 ?
  Reality perversely refuses to conform to ideological expectations.
 ?

  Acceleration of technological development has accelerated the rate of change generally. Ideological rationalizations are being undermined by real world developments at an ever faster pace.
 ?
  It took about a century and a half to conclusively demonstrate the stupidity of the Marxist propaganda myth. Like all ideologues, Marx didn’t write theory. He constructed a propaganda myth for a particular purpose - the destruction of capitalism - with nothing more than coincidental interest in validity. See, six articles on Marx, "Das Kapital," beginning with Karl Marx, Capital (Das Kapital)(vol 1) Part I,  "Value Determined by an Abstract Labor Standard." It should never have taken so long for the Marxist propaganda myth to be decisively rejected given the obvious and multiple weaknesses of this mythology. However, ideologues have to be hit over the head with the proverbial two-by-four of reality to “git their ahtenshun.”
 ?
  It was almost three decades after the death of John Maynard Keynes before Keynesian economic nostrums were tried and proven catastrophic in the 1970s. Keynesians have so frequently been disappointed by the frustration of their expectations that many of them now absurdly contend that economic forecasting is not a proper role for economists. One can sympathize with them on this point since accuracy in economic forecasting obviously requires the forecasting of the ultimate failure of Keynesian policies.
 ?

Keynesian theory should never have taken so long - it should never have been permitted to cause the widespread financial and economic disasters of the 1970s - before being broadly rejected.

  The weaknesses of Keynesian theory are almost as obvious and multiple as those of Marxist theory - from which it admittedly took much of its conceptual dogma. It, too, should never have taken so long - it should never have been permitted to cause the widespread financial and economic disasters of the 1970s - before being broadly rejected. See, Keynes, The General Theory Part I. "Elements of the General Theory." and Keynes, The General Theory Part II, "Interest Rates, Aggregate Demand, and the Business Cycle."
 ? 
  But John Kenneth Galbraith was still alive when the socialist ideology collapsed. For four decades, Galbraith determinedly pursued his ideological cause. Along with a host of other socialist ideologues, he determinedly ignored the obvious and multiple weaknesses of socialist theory. The collapse of socialism left Galbraith to explain and live with a whole library shelf of literary work of demonstrated stupidity. Even as late as the 1990s, he was still trying to assert the competence of Soviet socialist management for large scale basic industries. He went to his grave knowing of the wastage of most of his intellectual life.
 ?
  Poor Lester C. Thurow had his absurd “industrial policy” myth exploded in just about fifteen years - at least preventing him from filling a whole library shelf with such utter stupidity. He wrote about government management - without ever confronting and dealing with the inherent limitations and ineptness of government management.
 ?

The pace of change is now so rapid, that advocacy scholars and other weak scholars now sometimes have the stupidity of their work demonstrated while their books are still in page proof.

  FUTURECASTS refers to such propagandists as “advocacy scholars.” See, Modern Advocacy Scholars. Others have referred to them as “policy entrepreneurs” - willingly twisting their scholarship for ideological purposes. In the Introduction to his 1994 book, “A Journey Through Economic Time,” Galbraith admitted - without apology - that his intellectual life had been dedicated to the lies required to support his socialist cause.
 ?
  However, advocacy scholarship has become a very high risk business. The pace of change is now so rapid, that advocacy scholars and other weak scholars now sometimes have the stupidity of their work demonstrated while their books are still in page proof. FUTURECASTS has discerned this occurrence with respect to two major books published during the last twenty years.
 ?
  One was Galbraith’s 1994 book, which repeatedly referred (wishfully?) to the mild 1991 recession as a new Depression. Galbraith didn’t realize until the book was in page proofs that recovery was imminent and that the recession would prove both short and mild . The other, a 1998 book by two noted pundits, Daniel Yergin and Joseph Stanislaw, “The Commanding Heights,” extolled the economic virtues and achievements of the Asian Tigers during the 1990s. The “Asian Contagion” revealed the manifold financial weaknesses of the economic policies at that time of many of the Asian Tigers before the book got out of page proofs.
 ?
  Both of these books were marked by obvious last minute additions, hastily inserted in futile attempts to cover up their demonstrated stupidity.
 ?

Events will continue to be unkind to those who sell their intellectual souls for a mess of ideological pottage.

  During the 21st century, the pace of change will continue to accelerate. Events will deal with advocacy scholarship and other weak scholarship efforts with increasing brutality. Events will continue to be unkind to those who sell their intellectual souls for a mess of ideological pottage.
 ?
  There is thus now no alternative than to do the hard work and clear analysis required for objective understanding in the nonscientific practical arts. All expositions based on ideology or wishful thinking or other bias risks being quickly undermined by events. Only work based on an accurate understanding of the pertinent reality is safe from being quickly exposed as blatantly stupid.
 ?
  Reality will continue to perversely refuse to conform to ideological expectations.
 ?

A half century of accurate economic forecasts:

 

?

  The first published economic forecasting effort of the publisher of FUTURECASTS online magazine was a 1967 book presciently entitled “Dollar Devaluation.” It accurately set forth the tumultuous economic events that occurred in the next 15 years - a period of almost complete frustration for professional economists. From 1972 until 1984, his financial columns appeared in a string of business newspapers predicting with almost complete accuracy the economic twists and turns of that turbulent time.
 ?

  Time has never undermined the published work of the publisher of FUTURECASTS online magazine, unlike the routine experience of so many establishment economists and all Keynesians. With only a few minor exceptions, time has always confirmed it. See, Futurecasting Record 1, "A Dozen Years of Perfect Economic Forecasts (1966-1978)," Futurecasting Record 2, "Continued But  Not Perfect Excellence (1978-1985),"  Futurecasting Record 3, "Predictions of Soviet and Oil Cartel Weakness," Futurecasting record 4, "FUTURECASTS - The First Five Volumes," and "Eleventh Annual Review of FUTURECASTS Issues" covering Credit Crunch forecasts since October, 2002.
 ?
  Wouldn’t you have liked to have read - and had the intelligence to accept - the following in 1967?

  “And it [severe financial and economic dislocation] is coming. Not tomorrow, and probably not during this administration of President Johnson. Twelve billion dollars worth of gold, in addition to assorted other hard credits of a nonphysical nature, still provide a fairly impressive reserve. But the dollar will face a significant cut in its purchasing power in the not too distant future. Occurring sometime within the next ten years, the loss will probably amount to somewhere between 60 to 80 percent of the dollar’s present purchasing power. - - -
 ?
  “- - - A Korean type war [like the then escalating Vietnam War] may reduce to as little as four to six years the period during which our gold and hard currency will remain capable of absorbing these inflationary pressures.”

  A few examples from that financial column:

  March, 1972: “The first tremors of the next monitory crisis have already been felt. Within the next two years, perhaps even before the end of 1972, we will have another, and probably much bigger, dollar devaluation. - - -
 ?
  “Businessmen who have to arrange long term financing, or who will have to refinance existing debts within the next few years, had better take care of that chore right now. Those who have to obtain or refinance mortgages should do so now. Delay could be costly. We are now seeing the lowest interest rates of this cycle.”
 ?
  August, 1972:
“Election year pump priming has already set in motion inflationary forces that will render the Government’s efforts at price control ludicrous or destructive or both. Regardless of election year rhetoric, neither political party or presidential candidate will be able to avoid severe monetary dislocation, higher interest rates, higher rates of inflation and unemployment.”
 ?
  August, 1972:
“No doubt, the value of gold will not go straight up. But, if the United States is unable to sustain the rigors and unemployment of a harsh austerity program, gold prices substantially in excess of $100 per ounce will occur before the 1976 election rolls around.”
 ?
  August, 1973:
“For those who view gold and gold mining stock as long-term insurance against inflation’s ravages, gold remains an excellent investment. For the short term speculator, however, gold is no longer the surest bet in town.”
 ?
  August, 1976:
“Recourse by a Democratic administration, working with a liberal Congress, to policies of enlarged government deficits and accelerated monetary expansion could dramatically alter gold’s prospects [from its then current decline]. - - -
 ?
  “Paradoxically, the liberal dream of successfully demonetizing gold can succeed only if this conservative tide prevails and restores responsible government to the United States.”
 ?
  September, 1977:
“It is likely that gold will close out 1977 at levels considerably higher than $150 per ounce, and it should break its post-dollar devaluation record by the end of 1978. - - -
 ?
  ”A boom and bust cycle of vicious proportions is now in the making.”
 ?
  January, 1978:
“- - - 1978 should see continued deterioration of the dollar and a new record high for the price of gold. Equity securities will continue depressed, with prices on the New York Stock Exchange fluctuating in the existing range and continuing to lose ground to inflation.
 ?
  “Interest rates, inflation, and unemployment will trend higher. Indeed, if interest rates and unemployment don’t reach double digit levels sometime during the next eighteen months, inflation will. The predictions of most economists will thus be proven wrong.”
 ?
  October, 1979:
“A recession that develops faster, dives deeper, causes more financial failures, and proves more difficult to pull out of than anything currently predicted by government or the vast majority of private forecasters now seems assured.”
 ?
  August, 1982:
“The stock market lies like a coiled spring, pressed down by 15 years of deteriorating economic conditions.
 ?
  “In real terms, the Dow Jones industrial average has lost approximately two thirds of its value since first crossing the 1,000 mark in the mid-1960s.
 ?
  “Depressed to this great extent, the market ignores current recession and any further bad news; it needs only a hint of good news to send it spurting upwards. Any indication the government might at long last adopt some practical economic policies would send it shooting upwards past 1,500, and any actual adoption of such policies would place it permanently in the 2,000 range.”

  Not surprisingly, there were a few mistakes during those fifteen years. There were three economic miscalls - one of which was serious - and one serious political miscall. They were all quite instructive. Failures are always more instructive than successes.
 ?

  The political mistake came in March, 1976, when the bleak political and inflationary economic landscape of the day led to the following conclusion:

  “With government activist theories discredited, with no proof that a ‘soft landing’ can be provided once inflation takes hold, and with electorates still insisting that candidates at least provide them with hope that inflation’s problems can be dealt with without undue hardship or massive cuts in government services, the only candidates whose chances remain viable are those who are fools, demagogues and/or cynics. The Western democracies are unlikely to obtain effective leadership from such men.”

National decline is an inevitable feature of entitlement welfare and Keynesian economic policy and will be reversed when entitlement costs are effectively constrained and the Keynesians are again kicked out of Washington.

  It is an unforgivable error to lose faith in democratic electorates. Even during those times of troubles, neither the idiot left nor the idiot right were able to make any real headway. My prediction was true - but only for about four years.
 ?
  It took awhile, but democratic electorates did eventually get it right. (Winston Churchill said it best - as usual. You can always rely on the American electorate to do the right thing -- after they have tried everything else.)
 ?
  Just when things looked darkest, in the first half of the 1980s, the Western democracies enjoyed the strongest, most effective leadership since the 1950s. Their electorates surprised all the pundits - including the publisher of FUTURECASTS - by insisting on strong cold war leadership and supporting the harsh austere monetary policies needed to restore economic stability and, ultimately, to regain financial strength and economic prosperity.
 ?
  There is widespread tendency again today to despair of democratic political leadership and view the United States as a declining power. However, national decline is an inevitable feature of entitlement welfare and Keynesian economic policy and will be reversed when entitlement costs are effectively constrained and the Keynesians are again kicked out of Washington. Keep the faith!
 ?

  The first economic forecasting error came after a dozen years of economic forecasting perfection. It was a minor error of timing. It was the result of an unexpected - indeed an irrational - Carter Administration decision on economic policy. The 1979 recession didn't come until 1980. It was unbelievable that the Carter Administration would be so inept that they would put off the inevitable economic downturn until 1980 - a presidential election year.
 ?
  This was really a good call, even if six months too early. It is far better to correctly predict an important economic turning point six months too early than to get it six months too late - or miss it entirely, like most economists of the day.
 ?

The deplorable forecasting record of many economists - especially Keynesian economists - speaks volumes about the invalidity of their economic concepts.  Keynesians admit that they lack the competence to provide reliable forecasts. Keynesians refuse to provide testable hypotheses for their theories.

  The second economic forecasting error was much more serious. Defects in economic theory lead to forecasting error. Accurate forecasting is proof of theoretical understanding, and inaccurate forecasting is proof of theoretical error.
 ?
  The deplorable forecasting record of many economists - especially Keynesian economists - speaks volumes about the invalidity of their economic concepts.  Keynesians admit that they lack the competence to provide reliable forecasts. Keynesians refuse to provide testable hypotheses for their theories.
 ?
  The significant difference between monetary expansion that was rapid enough to lead to abnormally low real interest rates -- such as had occurred in the 1970s -- and monetary expansion that was limited enough to leave real interest rates significantly higher than normal -- such as occurred in the 1980s - was not sufficiently understood. The indefinite continuation of inflation during the 1980s was thus confidently predicted. Inflation in fact remained throughout the 1980s at 4% to 6% levels that would have been considered intolerable just fifteen years earlier. However, because of this theoretical weakness, the forecast was for significantly higher 6% to 8% rates of inflation, with all the problems and impacts that that implied.
 ?

  A third economic mistake was, like the first, again due to an unexpected decision on economic policy. For 1984, it was confidently predicted that interest rates would rise, with an interruption in the middle of the year before the presidential election season.
 ?
  By this time, there should have been more confidence in the skill of Fed. Chairman Paul Volcker. He brilliantly pushed short term interest rates higher early in the year so that long term rates could be substantially in decline by the last quarter of the year.
 ?

Policy makers can always do the unexpected - whether stupid or brilliant - to delay or alter for short periods existing economic trends.

  The lesson of these first and third economic forecasting errors is that the cognizant policy making authorities almost always retain some ability to affect immediate events. Policy makers can always do the unexpected - whether stupid or brilliant - to delay or alter for short periods existing economic trends. The lesson of the second mistake is, obviously, that any weakness of theoretical understanding will eventually lead to faulty conclusions. Forecasting accuracy is always the ultimate test of the validity of theory, Keynesian economists to the contrary notwithstanding.
 ?

The Keynesian economists who dominated economic policy during those years determinedly ignored economic history in the vain hope that their theories would somehow change the real economic forces that were responsible for the events of economic history.

 

Monetary inflation - after initial pleasant results - doesn’t prevent unemployment - it causes unemployment - and stagnant capitalization - or even decapitalization - and a host of other evils.

  The publisher of FUTURECASTS takes little pride in the achievement of those two decades of forecasting excellence. The truth is that it was absurdly easy.
 ?
  The failure and consequences of policies based on the Keynesian authoritative myth
were ludicrously obvious to anyone with any substantial knowledge of economic history. But the Keynesian economists who dominated economic policy during those years determinedly ignored economic history in the vain hope that their theories would somehow change the real economic forces that were responsible for the events of economic history. Today, they again cling to that ridiculous hope.
 ?
  Economic theory cannot trump economic history or render historic economic forces obsolete. Economic theory must recognize and accommodate those forces, or it is obviously invalid and doomed to failure.
 ?
  Chronic deficit spending and monetary expansion - after initial pleasant results - had never failed to prove disastrous. Bestowing the new labels of “fiscal policy” and “monetary policy” and "quantitative easing" on these practices obviously wasn’t going to change reality. Monetary inflation - after initial pleasant results - doesn’t prevent unemployment - it causes unemployment - and stagnant capitalization - or even decapitalization - and a host of other evils.
 ?
  Some Keynesians, like Galbraith, realized that this was true. Keynesian policies must ultimately lead to chronic price inflation. Galbraith, however, contended - even more incredibly - that price controls could control inflation. Actually, he probably didn’t care, because his main position was that capitalism was going to fail and should be replaced to a considerable degree by socialism. Most Keynesian economists, however, actually believed - and many still believe - in the validity of their absurd concepts and the ability of monetary expansion and deficit spending to indefinitely avoid recessions.
 ?

The modern business cycle:

  Administration and Congressional spending proclivities and policies that disable market disciplinary mechanisms have been particularly pernicious and are currently worse than ever.
 ?

Moral hazard guarantees that now extend broadly across the major entities in the financial system remove the fear of default as a disciplinary factor in creditor decisions. Artificially low interest rates for several years at a time allow the economy to adapt to a financial environment devoid of a realistic time cost of money. Resource allocations by the government undermine the basic supply and demand discipline of the pertinent markets.

  Tariffs and the allocation of resources in favor of politically favored sectors like agriculture and housing have played major roles in serious economic contractions like the Great Depression and the Credit Crunch. Federal Reserve missteps and its monetization of government debt have repeatedly increased the volatility and viciousness of the business cycle. Its efforts to mitigate the business cycle have largely been counterproductive.
 ?
  Moral hazard guarantees that now extend broadly across the major entities in the financial system remove the fear of default as a disciplinary factor in creditor decisions. Artificially low interest rates for several years at a time allow the economy to adapt to a financial environment devoid of a realistic time cost of money. Resource allocations by the government undermine the basic supply and demand discipline of the pertinent markets. The Federal Reserve administered alternative based on human judgment has so far failed to improve upon or even remotely equal the admittedly imperfect gold standard rules based market mechanism. Only during the 1980s and 1990s did it achieve arguably equivalent outcomes. See, three articles on Friedman & Schwartz, "A Monetary History of the U.S. (1867-1960)," beginning with Part I: "Greenbacks and Gold (1867-1921)" and eight articles on volumes one and two of Meltzer, "A History of the Federal Reserve," beginning with Part I, "The Search for Monetary Stability (1913-1923)."
 ?

Indeed, capitalist market systems cannot exist without appropriate institutional and regulatory frameworks.

  The markets cannot be expected to discipline their participants if such vital disciplinary mechanisms are disabled by government policy. These mechanisms are far from perfect, but they are far superior to any administered alternatives devised to take their place. Regulation that facilitates market mechanisms is essential and something the U.S. does very well. Indeed, capitalist market systems cannot exist without appropriate institutional and regulatory frameworks. See, Scott, "The Concept of Capitalism," Broad scale laissez faire policy has never been a part of capitalist systems and is actually impossible for capitalism.
 ?
  However, regulation that tries to substitute for market mechanisms will always prove disappointing. They will either be too constraining or too ineffective - or both. The current effort to substitute regulation for the admittedly imperfect market disciplinary mechanisms disabled by moral hazard government credit guarantees for too-big-to-fail institutions will prove repeatedly disappointing.
 ?

The Keynesians didn't quite succeed in destroying the nation's economy during the the 1960s and 1970s, so they returned with Obama to give it another try

 

When the Keynesians again fail, they will leave behind vast increases in the nation's debt burdens and a debouched currency.

  The “golden straitjacket” of monetary stability and reasonably balanced budgets dominated economic policy during the prosperous years of the Bush (I) and Clinton administrations. But the Bush (II) administration and three Republican congresses heedlessly abandoned these policies in favor of narrow political expediency and a rush to loot the public treasury. These Republican politicians  revealed themselves to be nothing but unprincipled political hacks. See, Heedless Government, Government by Crisis and Congress: The Engine of Inflation,  Their policies resulted in bubble mania and drove the nation into the Credit Crunch recession - just like the Republican administrations and congresses of the 1920s that drove the nation into the Great Depression. See, Blatt, "Understanding the Great Depression and the Modern Business Cycle." See, also, Summaries of Great Depression Controversies and Facts and seven Great Depression Chronology articles beginning with The Crash of '29,
 ?
  Keynesian policies remain an ever threatening option because the politicians love them so. They came back with a vengeance during the Obama administration. The Keynesians didn't quite succeed in destroying the nation's economy during the the 1960s and 1970s, so they returned with Obama to give it another try. When they fail, they will leave behind vast increases in the nation's debt burdens and a debouched currency.
 ?

  If you do not understand the absurdity of Keynesian concepts and its derivative concepts, then you can not understand recent economic history or have an accurate understanding of current and future economic possibilities. Since economics is fundamental to prospects in sociology and politics, a lack of understanding of economics inevitably undermines a broad swath of your world view. It is impossible for futurists and forecasters in these fields to function successfully without coming to grips with Keynesian and other authoritative economic myths.
 ?

  And there are a host of other authoritative myths and misconceptions of all kinds affecting all the nonscientific practical arts. They have afflicted policy making and intellectual understanding in the 20th century and similarly threaten policy making and intellectual understanding in the 21st century.
 ?
  The practical limitations of accounting, the dubious reliability of most statistics in the nonscientific practical arts (especially most economic statistics other than market statistics), widespread myths concerning “laissez faire” and “trickle down” economic policies, the myth of the “conservative majority,” the constant elaboration in legal procedure of “the process that is due,” the “fairness” and “social justice” propaganda slogans, the savings gap (“liquidity preference”) economic bogey man, untenable definitions of “economic health,” “inflation,” and “capital” -- the list of authoritative myths and misconceptions is deplorably lengthy. See, articles linked to the "Authoritative Myths" segment of the Futurecasts Archive on the Homepage.
 ?
  The ability to cut through this caliginous bog of intellectual myth and misconception is essential. FUTURECASTS forecasts are based on a single incontrovertible truth.
 ?
  Reality will continue to perversely refuse to conform to mere ideological expectations.

Please return to our Homepage and e-mail your name and comments.
Copyright © 2010 Dan Blatt