Business Cycles: A Theoretical, Historical, and Statistic by Joseph A. Schumpeter (Author) , Rendigs Fels (ed.)

By Joseph A. Schumpeter (Author) , Rendigs Fels (ed.)

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Moreover, it is not denied that in some professions and in many branches of retail trade, the consequences predicated by some authorities on monopolistic competition may even in the long run prevail : if newcomers flock into the legal profession and fees are being kept up, all lawyers will be underemployed and feel unable to make what they consider a decent living. Acting in a well-known frame of mind, they may well try to mend the case by raising fees. Independent cabmen, retailers of milk, and so on are very likely to behave just like that.

In the case of an undisturbed stationary process this question is of little moment, everyone having been taught by experience to follow the beacon lights which are relevant to him. Since every decision refers to the future, this implies foresight ; and since the fruits of every effort mature in the future, it also implies caring for the future— forethought. The Walrasian men, for instance, keep their durable instruments and their stocks at least intact. It is, hence, no more justifiable to call the systems of Walras and Pareto timeless than to charge them with the absurdity of assuming omniscience.

It invites a mechanistic and formalistic treatment of a few isolated contour lines and attributes to aggregates a life of their own and a causal significance that they do not posses. If we consider what those aggregates are, we understand immediately how easy it is, once this starting point is chosen, to slide off into all the superficialities of monetary theories of cycles. It should, however, be noticed that, for a point of equilibrium, one of the relations subsisting between aggregative quantities may be expressed by what is Joseph Schumpeter, Business Cycles.

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