True Price, Again!

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In this special edition we focus once again on true price. The reason is simple enough: true price is a synonym for associative economics. If one had to sum up the entire associative economic paradigm in one, or rather two words, those would be the ones. In fact, one could build a whole new movement in economic life on this basis. One simply has to ask, “What would have to happen for true prices to obtain?”, then follow the dots.

The dots would be one’s own footprints as one set out on a journey of discovery by doing – deeds that would be on the one hand conceptual, on the other, practical. Each aspect informing the other. Naturally, in the few pages available here one cannot do full justice to the term and its significance both theoretically and practically. But one can provide a seminal outline, enough to give a clear idea of what is meant by true price and to provide an initial stimulus to take it further. A jog to the will; the rest is up to individuals to walk the relevant talk.

We begin with this month’s Sign of the Times, which focuses on the failure of the efficient  markets hypothesis (EMH), as described by serious players in the world of modern finance when the global financial crisis began (for it is surely not ended, economic existence ever since having been kept on the life support of printed money).

In response, the argument is made that Rudolf Steiner’s true price formula is a candidate, if not the candidate, to replace the EMH. Since associative economics is found in the doing, not in the contemplating, the place to start, as with any economic paradigm, is with the question of price. In the archival piece, Beyond Efficient Markets, and courtesy of the late economic historian, Eric Roll, we look again at Rudolf Steiner’s ideas, identifying antecedents to true price in the long sweep of economic history in the cases of Aristotle’s ‘mean value’ and Thomas Aquinas’s ‘just price’.

The lead article, Changing the Paradigm, considers the case for shifting macro policy from price stability to true pricing, this time as discussed by a group of people who recently met in Canada* to discuss the on-going development of associative economics.

The feature item, Getting Traction, provides a synopsis of ideas to further true price, also taken from a session at the Montreal gathering.

The AEX Page features an abridged commentary on concerns regarding True Price, and is followed by extracts from a recent debate on questions of True Price.

Victor’s View concludes the edition with its commentary on full and true accounting as a necessary means for tracking and thereby giving effect to true pricing.

Also included are details of two recent eBook publications from Associative Economics Worldwide, a range of publications available throughout the world that aim to bring associative economics to a wide audience, both lay and professional. A percentage of all sales goes to further research in associative economics.

Note: A word about the style of this edition. The material is drawn from various sources, especially from notes and remarks posted on to flip charts, then triaged by topic. It has been made into a narrative without mentioning those concerned. It is in that sense anonymous but those who took part in the discussions were all involved in associative economics in one way or another.

* At the 12th annual meeting of the Economics Conference of the Goetheanum, held 27-30 June in Montreal, Canada.

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