The Causes of Economic Fluctuations: Possibilities of Anticipation and Control

The Causes of Economic Fluctuations: Possibilities of Anticipation and Control

The Causes of Economic Fluctuations: Possibilities of Anticipation and Control

The Causes of Economic Fluctuations: Possibilities of Anticipation and Control

Excerpt

Why does business fluctuate so violently instead of pursuing a steady upward course? What, if anything, can be done to eliminate or alleviate the evils resulting from business ups and downs? Is it possible through understanding of the nature of business change to recognize the gathering clouds that foretell declining activity or recognize the first signs that forecast better times ahead? These and similar questions are asked by almost every thinking individual. In the opinion of the present author, economic science has advanced to the stage at which it is possible to answer rather definitely each of these questions, but nevertheless, the answers are not given directly and simply in any of the numerous treatises dealing with variations in business activity. The average reader is not interested in and is not equipped for winnowing a great mass of straw and chaff in order to arrive at a few grains of truth, hence the occasion for this work, the purpose of which is to relieve him of some of that drudgery, while giving him the essential conclusions indicated by the known facts.

The author had his interest in the subject of business fluctuations profoundly stirred by reading, many years ago, Henry Ludlow Moore's book on Economic Cycles. He immediately thereafter began to analyze the available data, and he has continued this work intermittently until the present time. The results herewith set forth represent, therefore, conclusions arrived at after a long consideration of the problems in this field and the theories advanced by various students of the subject. During this period of time, the author's views have undergone marked evolution. He is far from considering that all of the ideas here presented represent ultimate conclusions. Doubtless, as more evidence accumulates, modifications will be found necessary. It is, however, believed that this book gives a fairly accurate sum-

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