PROBLEMS OF STABILITY AND GROWTH
Problems of economic analysis are not easily explained by words alone, and economists are accustomed to using pictorial illustrations in the form of graphs, charts, tables, and accounts. Sometimes these devices complement each other, and sometimes they are substitutes.
In studying economic stability and growth, including the problems of unemployment, inflation, shifts in income, productivity change, and balance of payments, we have selected the accounting framework as our principal illustrative device. While graphs and charts have their place in economic analysis, in many instances the accounting framework is an alternative method of exposition, which has the advantage of organizing the student's thoughts along the channels in which data are most likely to be available.
But economic analysis must not be limited to available data. Economists have been criticized for looking "only in the light for answers that may be found in the dark." In order to assist the reader in areas where our thinking must extend beyond the realm of known accounting procedures and data, we have in Part Four developed a structure of accounts in "real" (as opposed to money) terms, as a frame of reference in which the problems of productivity and income distribution will be discussed.