Directions of economic research
Construct a theoretical economic model incorporating in a satisfactory way the
concept of value, that is construct a useful axiom based theory
of value. The Thomistic idea that links value to cost of production, or to fair
service supplied, does not lead to a useful model. In fact, in general, the
production cost of an object is not well defined. In a multi-product factory
there is no such thing as intrinsic unit cost. Those who think that it exists
but "it is difficult to compute, except approximately" are mistaken. The best ideas on value are just varieties of discounted cash
flow analysis developed by Williams at the end of the 1930s, and are full of
paradoxes. It is possible that the concept of "intrinsic value" that most
economists and finance people are after, and use either explicitely or
implicitely, will have to be abandoned ; there are several examples in Physics
where apparently indestructible concepts had to be relinquished.
economic exchange between two agents not as the exchange of two identical
values but as a transaction with two movements beneficial to both. This
implies systems of personal values. The concept of utility is far from the end
word on it. There is a social morphogenesis stemming from transactions.
Transaction-like exchanges in a community lead to the emergence of shapes,
organs, sub-organisations, that make the whole community more efficient along
some measurements. Exchange actually is the engine of life seen from a
biological view point. It explains the emergence of prokaryotic cells, of
eukariotic cells, of organisms, of superior life, and of human communities.
This is not philosophy, it is "mathematical biology".
the activity of a set of economic agents, that is an economic community, as a
dynamical system. Show that it may evolve toward configurations that
are neither optimal nor stable, and certainly not intuitive.
Construct an axiom based economic theory that represents in a convincing way
the specific role of money. It will have to be a theory jointly of
money and credit. It will present the role of the banking system, the central
bank and the secondary banks. It will explain in a definitively convincing way
why government bonds of rich countries, or paper from strong borrowers, are
not exactly money, a question that at present concerns Japan, China and other
U.S. Treasury bondholders. Or, more likey, it will profoundly modify what we
mean by money. Any transaction-like exchange involves some sort of counterpart
money if it isn't barter. A promise is the beginning of money. Money gets
corrupted only when the promise it represents becomes doubtful ; that is
exactly the case of the US Government Bonds, that are a money, and a money
that is increasingly doubtful.
believe that for an economic community to function satisfactorily its
elementary agents must always have the option of autarky (at least
partially). That was still the
case of half of the French population in the middle of last century. If the
elementary agents of an economic community do not have the option of autarky
they are lead into relationships of strength and exploitation. By "elementary
agents" we mean individuals, families, and small communities. Within the
latter there may exist a local money either explicit or implicit. These ideas
can be generalized to the community of countries. The possibility of autarky,
or partial autarky, may be, in a mathematical sense, a necessary condition for
economic stability and efficiency within and between communities - the exact
opposite to Ricardo like theses.
whether a community can display optimal prosperity and fairness without
collaborative selfless contribution from its members. Such ideas of
"solidarity" begin to play a fundamental role in the modern understanding of