Income and Employment Analysis

Income and Employment Analysis

Income and Employment Analysis

Income and Employment Analysis

Excerpt

This book covers the subject matter of income and employment on which I have been accustomed to dwell in my classes in economic analysis. To meet the needs of students, it outlines the descriptive content of the national-income concept and presents a statement of the main forces molding the income aggregate. These topics are prominent today even at an early stage of the economics training: the problems are acute at the time when the analytic technique to cope with them is ready in reasonably good form, thanks to the accelerated pace of inquiries over the last two decades.

Aside from some content and organization, on which opinions are bound to differ, the main characteristic distinguishing my treatment, I think, is that with few lapses I have abstained from drawing policy implications or from spinning concrete proposals for social action. Most textbooks have not shown this reticence and have suggested some bold and far-reaching programs. Policy, it seems to me, transcends a knowledge of the determinants of the income and employment magnitude. My own approach ought to demonstrate that it is possible to unravel complex social phenomena in a way free of preconceptions about an enlarged role of government. In a free economy the routes to full employment and high income levels are numerous and multidimensional. Extra-economic considerations, as well as preferences and predilections, bulk large. Even those chary of any state intervention at all are entitled to a discussion of the concept and determinants of the income total. Eschewing policy, the book ought also to expose the nonsense (which often masquerades as intelligent discussion) that Keynesian analysis commits us to a narrow partisan attitude on social and political questions. Surely this is a perversion of the truth. Keynesian analysis conveys neither more nor less sanction for public measures than the rules of algebra do; its success derives from abstracting and pointing up . . .

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