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Re: Misleading Economic Indicators ...
by francesco ranci
07 June 2002 14:29 UTC
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The not so clear sentence about "effects of effects"
refers to the dominant view, according to S., not to
his own view. I think you know better than me what he
means. My remarks was just a matter of style.
Everything can be considered as "cause", as well as
"effect" of something else, but not at the same time.
"Rain", for evampe, is a cause poddles, as well as an
effect of storms. But you would not say that a pond is
an effect of an effect of a storm.

Something becomes "cause", or "effect", of something
else, by virtue of a specific chain of reasoning
(different chains, in the two cases).

First you have a paradigm (like "I WALK TO THE BREAD
Then you have a difference: ("I FELL IN A PODDLE")
So you can ask yourself how this could happen and try
an explanation (i.e. consider the event as an effect
of a cause)
All this chain of reasoning does not arise as long as
you get to the breadstore safe and do not need to
question your paradigm about it.

Many thinkers of the past and of the present think tha
laws are made of cause and effect relationships. I
disagree on this point. Causes and effects are called
in to preserve laws. They may or may not be laws
(paradigms, frames, terms of reference, schemes,
whatever you may want to call them).

Does economics assume that "men go for money" ? That
does not suffice in itself to explain "business
cycles" (and many other things, by the way). As far as
I know, tne basic paradigm about business cycles is to
be found in Paul Lafargue's pamphlet, "The Right to Be

--- Luke Rondinaro <larondin@yahoo.com> wrote:
> francesco ranci" francescoranci@yahoo.com wrote:
> <Interesting, though not 100% clear. Take the
> following sentence: "if the effects of factors that
> cause economic fluctuations could be ascertained
> before they have an effect on general economic
> activity..." (right at the beginning). I find it
> very hard to unravel... the "effect of a factor that
> causes an economic fluctuation" seems to be an
> "economic fluctuation" itself (whatever that
> means)... such an effect is supposed to have an
> effect (I thought causes had effects...) on the
> "general economic activity" (again, whatever that
> is, as opposed to a mere "economic fluctuation"...) 
> I’m in agreement with you on this. The sentence is a
> bit ambiguous. Is he saying that his [primary]
> “factors” can’t be ascertained or is he saying their
> “effects” can’t be ascertained? In addition, he
> appears to be using an interchangeable model of
> cause and effect (where, in a given sequence, effect
> “B” is in turn the ‘cause’ of effect “C” ŕ “economic
> fluctuations”).  It’s almost as if he’s saying the
> “effects” [of his]”factors” are themselves operating
> in the capacity of intermediate (or
> instrumental)”causes.”  But, what specifically
> constitutes “factors”, what constitutes their
> “effects”, and what specifically constitutes
> “economic fluctuations?”  
> His distinction between “economic fluctuations” and
> “general economic activity” may be referring to
> changes occurring on the Microeconomic level versus
> the Macroeconomic level. [Or in lieu of more
> particular information on Shostak’s part, it may be
> just a matter of specific economic changes
> (“fluctuations”) versus economic activity being
> discussed on a more universalized, theoretical
> level].  He doesn’t indicate which it is, and so
> we’re left to guess.
> All in all, that’s my reading-of [and
> attempt-to-parse] Shostak’s sentence here.  Have I
> read it correctly or am I missing something in my
> analysis of what he said? ... I look forward to your
> comments and insights.  Best!
> Luke R.
> ---------------------------------
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