Monday, February 20

Government Fiction # 14708: The Savings Rate

The news is replete with government supplied "data" on the economy. Frank Shostak at isn't fooled by it. Are you?
Now, since it is not possible to quantitatively establish the status of the total of real goods and services, obviously various data like real income, real personal consumption expenditure, or real GDP that government statisticians generate shouldn't be taken too seriously. The data that are generated by means of mathematical methods is just a fiction.

Yet this fiction passes as the facts of reality, which allows economists to make comments with a straight face regarding the likely future direction of the real economy. The debate is often confined to the decimal point of the rate of growth. Thus it is debated whether the economy will grow by 3.1% or by 3.5%.

The fictitious data are served as a benchmark against which various economic theories are validated. Also, once it is accepted that it is "possible" to quantify the state of the real economy then one can also establish another fiction — the price level. This in turn provides the rationale for the importance of keeping the price level stable. And this in turn provides the justification that the central bank ought to navigate the economy towards the path of stable price level and stable real economic growth.

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