Thursday, August 26, 2004

Reader Update, Overview of Writing Series

Dear Readers,

I am working on a series of stories to follow up both the California angle, and to provide more hard evidence for the reporting I've done on GDP and productivity numbers, and to tie it all in to offshoring. I continue to welcome your comments, and furthermore I think that you will notice that your comments do drive my writing in that I attempt to address your questions and concerns collectively even if I do not always have time privately. Basically the story is that I will continue to present data taken from official releases and break down the numbers in papers that are overwhelming for the ideas that I am criticizing.

And no, I do not think that I have gone "too far". What I am reporting is simply quotes and data taken directly from official sources and in context. If their numbers and arguments do not make sense, and I am ready to share more specifics undermining their positions, then that is the way it should be. I am not "going too far" because there should be no "sacred cows".

If I am approaching things fairly, analyzing things honestly and truthfully, and using only facts then how can this be going "too far"?

I understand that this is may be upsetting for some people as it may seem to go against their intuitive ideas and direct experience. However I believe I can show mathematically how a person could see individual instances where technology made a work environment more productive, and because of a further unaccounted factor still fail to produce aggregate productivity or GDP increases (unless one uses accounting gimmicks, more to be shared).

This may seem counter-intuitive but in the days to come I will be analyzing several papers, all of which use official data and methodology and all of which are overwhelming for the positions I am criticizing, to show that my presentations and conclusions are in fact not only substantial but clearly refute counter-claims. However I cannot do it all today.

The reason why I can bring you this independent analysis is that no one is paying me to do this. That is because no one out there is interested in truly funding this kind of analysis. Both the neoliberal and the neoconservative economic paradigms, "New Economy" et al., stand to have fundamental political truths they hold dear to be undermined by what I am revealing. This means that it is intrinsically a difficult proposition to broach, despite that it explains the current economic situation of the United States and that I've been successfully using it to predict market movements when traditional and neo economic interpretations alike have failed.

So I must read the papers, crunch the numbers, and do the thinking and writing all on my own time and dime. There is one of me and many of them: them being the many think tanks, political scientists, analysts, and economists who have either bought into this personally or work for those who have a stake in the issue. Nonetheless I will perserve and I continue to emphasize that I am going to take a fact-based and steady approach to these issues, citing my sources and allowing everyone to see how I've come to the conclusions that I have.

I hope that this will dispense with the criticism that I have "gone too far." There is no position or theory ever too perfect that it should be exempted from examination based upon fact and reason as to evaluate its validity. For those who doubt simply because they cannot believe what we shall call a "mistake" on this scale could be committed, perpetuated, and bought into by so many people then I simply say I pray you keep an open mind and let me show you the evidence.

Because there's more from where the previous ones came from, and by no means have you seen the most ludricuous stuff yet.

I hope that this rather relentless stream of presentation of facts and cited sources will eventually wear down and convince even the most incredulous doubter that yes in fact the story is as I have painted it.

I would lastly note two things. As you all know, I have been highly critical of the Bush Administration. However the facts are that the vast majority of these methodological changes occurred under previous Administrations, and many of them under the neo-liberal economic consensus of the Clinton Administration. Therefore this series of writing is as close as it can be, truly apolitical. Secondly, I have never and do not to this day attempt to imply, construe, or implicate any form of deliberate conspiracy. I do assert that there is groupthink, academic wooliheadness, bad accounting, and an all too willing set of people who believe rather than reasonably come to their conclusions.

Therefore it is worse than a conspiracy, it is a religion. What I propose to deconstruct is nothing less than the "New Economy" paradigm itself. This will be difficult for people to accept, because it is a belief rather than an economy theory based upon facts and reason. This fundmamentally is why so few people have come to grasp it, because it is not a mere questioning of GDP, productivity, or true offshoring figures - it is a deconstruction of the entire worldview that they have become accustomed as a lens through which to see their entire lives.

I did not set out to accomplish such a grand denoument. I merely have been led here, one step at a time, following the trail of evidence. At every turn rather like my fictional role model, I have been eliminating the impossible and then am forced to turn to consider the remaining however improbable it may appear. I did not set out to question GDP numbers, and this entire exercise is scandalous to me, for above all numbers in the past personally I have vested the most personal trust and recommendation in GDP.

In the 90's you could have hardly found a person who bought into the "New Economy," paradigm more than the oldman. However the oldman has never been a "true believer". He just thought it was true.

However I absolute refuse to spare any proposition from full, fair, and thorough examination based upon facts and reason. Therefore as I kept on finding discrepencies I kept on following them up. And those discrepencies led me futher and further, until it all began unraveling.

I cannot state that this is the end that I sought, but I can state that as long as I remain independent and able I will follow it through to the end. Based upon my own history of beliefs, I would say that what I am proposing is impossible. Based upon my investigation, I would say that there is no other alternative that has not been counterfeited.

I hope as I continue my journey, unraveling the very basis of the economic world that we have come to know and accept as being both inevitable and universal, that you my readers will give me a fair chance to prove to you by fact and not fiction that what I am sharing is the only logical conclusion of such a close scrutiny of the best available information.

This is the best that I can offer, and humbly I hope that you will take up my offer.

7 Comments:

At August 26, 2004 at 3:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not to worry. I for one am awaiting with great anticipation - this is work that needs to be done. I've been suspicious of some of these numbers for quite a while because they don't make sense. While I don't claim any particular success at predicting the market, I do claim some at predicting the economy and the mental models I've used to predict the economy keep getting contradicted by certain pieces of data. That doesn't mean the data is wrong, or that my models are wrong (since the models aren't complete), but it does suggest that there's a problem. And honestly I suspect some of the data - mostly because of KISS - I think they've violated it a few too many times.

I, for one, never bought all that much into the "new economy", though - no economic principles were repealed due to infotech and telecom, they were just stretched. Friction of distance for sharing knowledge went down; that changes things, but it shouldn't change everything. One problem with economics is that it's a very marginal (pun intended) study - that doesn't situate itself in its' operating milieu - it doesn't really understand the different types of market economies very well, let alone how non market segments (which are much larger than they admit) operate or occur.

Ian.

 
At August 26, 2004 at 4:09 PM, Blogger Anthony said...

I second Ian's enthusiasm.

Maybe it is my youth, but I have always had a suspicion that the new economy was nothing but a political name brand.

 
At August 26, 2004 at 5:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Go for it! And if you've not yet done so, you may want to better understand Steve Keen's work at Debunking Economics. I don't agree with everything Keen writes, but I think that I agree with him on much more than I find to disagree with. And I can't think of anything offhand that I take "big" exception with.

As I recall he did a thing on linking Complex Systems theory with Hyman Minsky's work that I found outstanding but I can't find the damn thing which makes me wonder if my mind is playing tricks on me..

In any case, even if you find Keen's work distasteful, take a look at Keen's Debunking Economics Links.

Some might want to start with his contributions to Post Autistic Economics You can scroll to issues 14 and 7 of the Post-Autistic Economics Review for Keen's stuff, and you can pay attention to other authors/titles as you scroll. It's a good place to begin to see where others are starting to break ranks in terms of economics.

Dave Iverson

 
At August 26, 2004 at 5:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's Steve Keen's stuff on ,Debt Deflation, modeling and to some extent extending the work of Hyman Minsky on The Financial Instability Hypothesis.. My mind wasn't playing tricks on me after all...

Keen starts his work on Debt Deflation as follows:

My main research area is modelling Minsky's "Financial Instability Hypothesis", which argues that speculative finance can destablise the economy. I have provided mathematical models of this process, which have been published in a number of places. I have linked some of these below, where copyright allows. My next book, Finance and Economic Breakdown, will give a comprehensive presentation of this work.Dave Iverson

 
At August 26, 2004 at 10:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I look forward to it.

Rodger

 
At August 28, 2004 at 1:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep Up The Good Work!!!
Jim Coomes

 
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