Monetarism or Prosperity? - download pdf or read online

By Bryan Gould

ISBN-10: 0333307828

ISBN-13: 9780333307823

ISBN-10: 0333319737

ISBN-13: 9780333319734

ISBN-10: 1349165107

ISBN-13: 9781349165100

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Not only does deflation directly reduce the national income by causing an immediate and very substantial loss of output in the short term; its long-term effects are exactly the opposite ofwhat is required. It is precisely those industries which are most significant in exporting which, because of the importance of economies of scale in the internationally traded goods sector, are hit hardest by declining home demand. With falling demand and output, their average costs rise in relation to other parts of the economy and to competing economies, so that they are in no position to win back orders on the highly competitive export market.

It could happen simply because the oil producers wanted to keep their surplus funds in London or because the demand for credit had increased to finance asset speculation, as happened in 1972-3. The result is to put the monetary cart before the wealth-creating horse. As with so much of monetarist theory, the attempt to control the money supply in practice runs into virtually insoluble problems; but its lack of success does not prevent the attempt from inflicting substantial damage on the real economy.

Monetarists generally argue as if the problem did not exist. When taxed with it, they tend to dismiss it by saying that the changes are temporary and not sufficiently predictable to be offset by official action. Some go further and argue that the monetary authorities would make the maximum feasible contribution to minimising velocity fluctuations if they kept the money supply growing at a well-publicised and non-inflationary stable rate. 20 The velocity of circulation, however, is a reflection of changes in the level of activity as well as of changes in the quantity of money, and one clear lesson of the Gold Standard is that changes in velocity are minimised when the supply of money is varied to conform to the needs of trade.

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Monetarism or Prosperity? by Bryan Gould


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