Economics Through the Looking-Glass: Reflections on a Perverted Science

1st Edition

R.A. Rayman

Routledge
Published June 5, 2019
Reference - 346 Pages
ISBN 9780367000875 - CAT# K393464
Series: Routledge Revivals

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Summary

Published in 1998. In spite of spectacular improvements in market flexibility, the characteristics of the past twenty years are slow growth and high unemployment. Economics Through the Looking-Glass exposes the theoretical fallacy at the heart of the New Economic Orthodoxy. The fallacy lies in treating the economy as a "single-gear" machine guaranteed to operate at its full employment potential as long as it benefits from the lubricant of perfectly flexible markets (in a Walrasian Utopia of continuous market-clearing equilibrium). Unemployment is thereby reduced to a structural problem of market imperfection. As a cure for unemployment, market flexibility is presumed to be adequate; as a cure for inflation, monetary restriction is presumed to be safe. The flaw in Orthodox logic is exposed by a demonstration that a monetary economy operates as a 'multi-gear' machine. Unless it is in 'top-gear', market flexibility (even of Utopian perfection) is not sufficient for full employment. 'Single-gear' Economic Orthodoxy is shown to have developed, not as a science, but as a religion beginning with Adam Smith's revelation of the Law of Competition. A Looking-Glass journey backwards in time from Adam Smith uncovers his suppression of the Law of Circulation and exposes the dangerous delusion of Orthodox economic policy. As a weapon against unemployment, market flexibility is inadequate; as a weapon against inflation, monetary restriction is unsafe. The 'multi-gear' alternative heralds the final stage of economic liberalisation: deregulation of the market for money. The rescue of interest rates from political or central bank interference and the control of inflation by a mechanism triggered by market forces would put an end to the Orthodox policy of maintaining unemployment above its natural market rate by misguided monetary intervention.

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