Tomorrow We Dance To Freedom

Our Economy Is Inherently Unstable

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Keynes's General Theory, as interpreted by the late Hyman Minsky focuses exclusively upon investment cycles whereby over the long term, leveraging through the use of external funds during periods of prosperity increase fragility within the economic system. Continued reductions in margins of safety through declines in liquidity are exacerbated by layer upon layer of debt accumulated between the generation and receipt of income. The complexity of the interconnected web of debt within the financial system creates a 'house of cards' whereby the failure of a key debt instrument; loss of confidence, failure of a financial institution, and/or combination of all these interrelated elements can trigger a financial collapse.

Interestingly, Minsky postulated that another Great Depression wasn't likely because big government (1/5 of the economy) and the Federal Reserve would stabilize the economy during a cyclical downturn by pursuing policies that were in the best interests of the entire nation. Unfortunately, the government through it's 'body snatched' lobbyist beholden representatives purse the narrow interests of a few well connected business elite within an economic system that is distorted, contrived, and contorted to their exclusive benefit. In general the government and the Federal Reserve pursue outdated neoclassical economic policies with an 'eye' towards benefiting the few (institutional banks) and powerful business interests with little or no concern for average citizens many of them mortgage holders who've been facing foreclosure in numbers not seen since the Great Depression.

With this lopsided approach towards stabilizing this 'Frankenstein' totalitarian economic society at the expense of providing adequate income to the majority of our citizen's who've been income constrained (decreasing real wage's) for more than 10 years - all the government 'players' have created a consumption crisis that will propel the economy straight to gutter. Minsky identified three flaws (after his extensive analysis of Keynes's General Theory) within a capitalist economy that tended to exacerbate its inherent instability - an extreme and arbitrary mal-distribution of income, an inability to achieve and sustain full employment, and disruptive financial instability.

But the central attribute of stability for any economic system whether distorted or un-manipulated is its ability to maintain an equitable distribution of income (not debt derived income) that drives consumption spending by the majority of the populous. Even if the global governmental entities finally realized that the ability of the majority of their citizens to consume (spend) was integrally tied to their own interests it would take a Herculean effort to rationalize the complexity of debt 'spaghetti' that has evolved over the years. With every incremental increase in 'shadow' income gleaned from the introduction of riskier and riskier 'toxic' debt instruments incrementally validated - the end result is that one after another of these noxious 'pests' has been accepted into the economic 'house' as a welcome guest. Since we haven't had what Minksy termed a 'financial simplification' or depression when all debt can be expunged leaving only equity ownership - we've had approximately 70 plus years whereby this 'toxic waste' of debt has accumulated with its associated weave of complexity.

We must therefore thoroughly reject the neoclassical synthesis version of Keynes's that does not model the economy on the basis of inherent instability. There exists nothing within our current real world distorted, contorted, contrived totalitarian economic society that even approaches a semblance of equilibrium - it can't because the vested interests of the business elite insure their position of power atop a teetering financial pyramid. Therefore we must model the economy under the assumption that it is a dynamical complex system that is inherently unstable given that irrational human beings are constantly jostling for positions of power and wealth on an unpredictable world that generates turmoil.