Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Older essays on the Nature of Coin, Credit and Circulation

Here are yet more forgotten links - this time by one Alfred Mitchell-Innes, and one Arthur Kitson.  They both make many shockingly modern points about monetary operations - shocking only because they were ignored and/or actively suppressed for so long. Some points they obviously miss, but what they caught 100 years ago are still unknown to most citizens today.

Still shocking to see how much of this was known that long ago, yet NOT widely disseminated - or at least not widely acknowledged or accepted.

The work from the same period of Fischer, Rutherford, Curie, Pavlov, Koch, Cajal, Ehrlich, Röntgen, Thomson, Michelson, van der Waals, Bragg, Kipling, Maeterlinck, Teddy Roosevelt, Poincaré, Planck, Kelvin, Boltzmann, Einstein, etc is taught in most highschools. Why aren't analyses of MONETARY OPERATIONS equally highlighted?

There's nothing more limiting to an economy, electorate and nation than to remain ignorant about the nature of "coin, credit and circulation."

'What is Money' (1913)

'The Credit Theory of Money' (1914)

Arthur Kitson, 1860-1937

The Money Problem, 1903

Unemployment : the cause and a remedy / by Arthur Kitson. (London : C. Palmer, [1921])

Kitson economics articles in Popular Science, 1890-1892

Thomas Edison Questions Arthur Kitson

"The Bank of England inflicts more trade damage on British industry than all the trade tariffs of the world combined."
  (hat tip to "Paul", from comments to a recent post)

After reading these, an analogy comes to mind.

Monetary operations is to economics as engineering is to physics or chemistry?

If so, we need a separate academic field devoted to monetary operations. It's clearly lacking, and that ignorance is chronically debilitating our economy.  Not many physicists can build a bridge or power plant, no matter how much theoretical knowledge they have.  Yet they're all we talk to when setting fiscal policy.

If this were physiology, monetary ignorance would be considered as terrifying as drug-resistant tuberculosis, malaria or smallpox - regardless of how much we knew about genetics or cellular biology or biochemistry. In response, we'd be vaccinating students before age 10 and draining every swamp of ignorance in sight.  We'd also be quarantining virulent pathogens (e.g., ignoring the quacks, & prosecuting the frauds propagating criminogenic contexts).

Together, these provide very interesting commentary. Makes one wonder how to define an operational field dedicated to regulating Control Fraud. We're lacking that too.  In regards to incompetent or fraudulent monetary operations, there seems to be a pattern.

1903 - Trust Busting, onset of Dept Commerce, etc
.....(the Empire gradually strikes back, goes back to gold std) 

1933 - Leaving the Gold Standard (again)
....(the Empire gradually strikes back; reinstating a quasi gold std) 

1973 - Closing the last Inter-Gov Gold Window
.....(the Empire gradually strikes back, significantly de-regulating everything coordinated since 1903) 

20?? - Downsizing the Financial Sector to Automatic Stabilizer status ?
.....(we better hope so)

30?? - A fully OpenSource electorate finally realizes that everything invented harms as much as helps until it is regulated ASAP to Public Purpose and policy of competing nation states.

40??  Our born-Open-Source electorate further realizes that every fully-provisioned electorate generates far more innovations and options than it has means to quickly & wisely select from?    At that point, we'll pass an inflection point.  We'll go from simply generating innovations & hoping some fraction get noticed - to investing in catalysts specifically for improving the fraction of our innovations that actually get tested.  Even then, we only realize that our Output Gap is infinite, and practically defined only as what the majority can already see we could but aren't achieving.

While there are many details to sift through, there are a few, key concepts that can be described, visualized and taught through simplified models & neural-net visualizations.   The few things we need to do are not complex, only subtle.


Clonal said...

There was also the Nobel Prize winning Frederick Soddy

In four books written from 1921 to 1934, Soddy carried on a "quixotic campaign for a radical restructuring of global monetary relationships", offering a perspective on economics rooted in physics—the laws of thermodynamics, in particular—and was "roundly dismissed as a crank". While most of his proposals - "to abandon the gold standard, let international exchange rates float, use federal surpluses and deficits as macroeconomic policy tools that could counter cyclical trends, and establish bureaus of economic statistics (including a consumer price index) in order to facilitate this effort" - are now conventional practice, his critique of fractional-reserve banking still "remains outside the bounds of conventional wisdom". Soddy wrote that financial debts grew exponentially at compound interest but the real economy was based on exhaustible stocks of fossil fuels. Energy obtained from the fossil fuels could not be used again. This criticism of economic growth is echoed by his intellectual heirs in the now emergent field of ecological economics

See also The Economic Thought of Frederick Soddy by Herman Daley

and The Economics of Frederick Soddy

Tom Hickey said...

The inflection point according to Ray Kurzweill. This is the point at which AI surpasses human cognitive capacity. He calls this point the singularity. They knowledge and ability to apply it goes exponential.

Clonal said...

Also Soddy's Cartesian Economics: The Bearing of Physical Science upon State Stewardship

Roger Erickson said...

Thanks Clonal,
Another useful find.

The Innes & outs of Soddy treatment?

Arthur Kitson too. He specifically mentioned US university professors being fired in the 1890s for including fiat currency in economics courses - demanded by bankers threatening to pull their contributions to the universities if their demands weren't heeded.

Seems people really will do anything in their power to avoid thinking. :(

And, also seems that our approach to education is totally disjointed.
We need to replace Frankenstein Education with OpenSource education, where everything can be connected to everything, JIT/JAN - producing aggregate agility.

Maybe then we could explore more of our options, and enjoy zooming away faster into our infinite Output Gap.

Roger Erickson said...

Personally, I think Kurzweil is missing the point on the AI inflection. What's more likely to happen is an inflection point in human Group Intelligence. Once we're better "instrumented," and can rapidly parse all OpenSource info across large populations, to converge to what little matters in any context, then large human aggregates will "know what they all know" and be able to use it with agility too.

Rather like the 50 trillion cells in your body having their cake, and being able to wield a credit card, refrigerator, table, plate, knife & fork too. :) Maybe even link, stage & sequence ingredients, utensils & oven too.

We have one helluva inflection point to go through ourselves.

paul meli said...

A site offering alternative education videos (for free, donations encouraged)

Tom Hickey said...

Roger, I hope you are correct, and the tremendous proliferation of open source and similar distributed human technologies through communications innovation is encouraging. It is definitely a step in the right direction. But for scaling quickly and safely, more computer power is needed to. We are scaling some innovations too fast to be safe, and Monsanto is a good example of what not to do.