The Causes of Economic Fluctuations: Possibilities of Anticipation and Control

By Willford I. King | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

Forces Underlying Business Instability . -- In recent years, depressions, by their intensity and long continuance, have forced thinking persons everywhere to take cognizance of the marked instability which characterizes business activity. There is an almost universal desire to know the cause of such instability and to ascertain what can be done to remedy the ills which grow out of it. To obtain this knowledge is, however, by no means easy. Research indicates, in fact, that to secure any real insight into the causes of business fluctuations one must delve deeply enough to gain an understanding of the fundamental principles of economics.

However, to understand these principles, it is first necessary to realize that the way in which economic laws function is dependent upon the basic institutions dominating the life of the people of the region in which the laws operate. Furthermore, it is necessary to consider the underlying economic forces which cause human beings to act as they do. It is also imperative to realize that we live not in a static society but in a changing world. Finally, it is essential to distinguish the forces which tend constantly to bring about equilibrium from those which, by contrast, give rise to maladjustments.

The Influences of Economic Institutions . -- At different times and places, various nations have operated under different sets of economic institutions. Even today, certain tribes have their economic activities governed primarily by custom. Russia, by contrast, has a socialistic economy. Italy is a fascist state. In the United States, throughout our history, the principle of laissez faire has been paramount, though it has always been modified greatly by the existence of well-established habits and customs; certain fields have always been controlled by monopolies, and

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The Causes of Economic Fluctuations: Possibilities of Anticipation and Control
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Preface v
  • Contents vii
  • Charts xiii
  • Chapter 1 - INTRODUCTION 3
  • References 18
  • Chapter 2 - CHARACTERISTICS OF BUSINESS DEPRESSIONS 20
  • References 47
  • Chapter 3 - RECORD OF BUSINESS DEPRESSIONS IN THE UNITED STATES 49
  • References 72
  • Chapter 4 - MISLEADING EXPLANATIONS OF THE ORIGINS OF DEPRESSIONS 74
  • References 107
  • Chapter 5 - INADEQUATE EXPLANATIONS OF THE ORIGINS OF DEPRESSIONS 109
  • References 124
  • Chapter 6 - THE DEPRESSION CULTURE-MEDIUM 125
  • REFFRENCES 134
  • Chapter 7 - THE DEPRESSION'S ORIGIN 138
  • References 168
  • Chapter 8 - FORCES TENDING TO ACCENTUATE AND PROLONG DEPRESSIONSS 169
  • References 194
  • Chapter 9 - INEFFECTIVE WAYS OF COMBATING DEPRESSION 196
  • References 207
  • Chapter 10 - FORCES COMMONLY TENDING TO END DEPRESSION 209
  • References 222
  • Chapter 11 - CYCLES 223
  • References 244
  • Chapter 12 - THE POSSIBILITY OF FORECASTING BUSINESS FLUCTUATIONS 247
  • References 263
  • Chapter 13 - SOCIAL COST OF UNSTABLE PRODUCTION 266
  • References 279
  • Chapter 14 - WAYS TO MINIMIZE DEPRESSION 282
  • References 311
  • Chapter 15 - WAYS TO MINIMIZE DEPRESSION (CONTINUED) 313
  • References 337
  • Index 339
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