Monday, September 19, 2011

An essay on economists' emphasis on profit

Economists make a mistake they focus on profit. One reason may be of course that after all profit is important in the system, the system we call "capitalism." Profit is what firms want, what proprietors, what operators of stores (or of restaurants) want. But capitalism is a social system and, thus, the only profit (alternative words are: benefit, boon, etc.) to worry over, ultimately, is the profit (or benefit) to the society. All you need to worry about, ultimately, is that persons are alive and not dead. We can assume that, if they are alive, they are healthy. (The only exception I can see is if some horrible person or party is going to intentionally put them in camps or starve them to death or something.) A human society does not fundamentally need profit, although we do have to mention here that it depends on what you mean by the word "profit," so it is a mistake for economists to only look at profit. Look back at this one []. I have already made the same kinds of statements regarding the "growth" concept.   

    But profit is non-essential. It is not essential. Non-essential. I hope I can make you understand. I argue is that an economist is not the one that needs to be thinking about profit. (That would be the businessman, right?) What does the economist need to concentrate on, then? He needs to discover some kinds of generalizations he can make about economics. He needs to discover the true laws of economics,basically. I won't settle for anything less. Those laws apply to entire societies, and, in globalization, to interactions between those societies.

     For example, China and the U. S. Those are two societies. They are interacting. If we say "profit," does it mean that there some kind of standard thing that applies to both in the same way?-----Or do they perhaps have distinct national interests? China and the U. S. are both "profiting" on their mutual trade but I don't think there is just one simple thing that is called "profit." Trading partners would not be engage in the trade if each did not experience some benefit. But there is no generic concept of "profit." Once you admit that, you start getting interested in things other than these individual profits, for firms. As we have mentioned, there is the social element, and countries are societies. So China is like a society. China certainly see its profit in a way that is different from the way the U. S. sees its own profit. They each have their own version of individual or national profit. The simple conception of "profit" vanishes. 
     The focus should therefore shift to something like a matter of what is going on in the whole society, either the China society, the U. S. society, or perhaps both. 
     "Profit" therefore should mean something proper to a society. (And this is, in economics circles, very unusual. It is an unconventional way of thinking about economics.)
     The basic idea I am trying to get across here is the idea that there is a lot going on in economics that we might miss, if we think everything has to do with the idea of profit, meaning the kind of "profit" that one must profit, if one is to turn a business deal. 
     So, to think that profit is the only consideration is wrong. If I think that it is not the only consideration, and I want to play out the idea that profit is not the only consideration in terms of dollar trade with China, I might note that China receives its profit in dollars, which it holds as T-bills. I don't think the U. S. pays in Renminbi or Yuan. So, one society is profiting from holding the money of the other society. While China takes its profit in U.S. dollars, the U. S. sees its profit from the China trade more in terms of money in the pockets of consumers or profits for the retailers, who get a lower price on their items bought from the Chinese. 

     Anyways, the basic idea is that profit is one aspect of how a group of persons engage in economic activities. Economists should never focus just on profit alone. And this corresponds to my earlier post about the illusion of growth, or, better put, the growth illusion. 

Two links here:

The Name of the actual post may differ because it was changed by the blogger, myself. And the old name is retained by the application. 

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