Erm.. I just wrote this but the 'post' button made it vanish..? Try again...
Years ago I read of some Soviet economist who devised some system to replace money, based on merit and productivity etc.
This effectively just turned full circle and what he designed was essentially money.
I've love to dredge up the details but have no real clue what to search for. Can anyone help please? And this time I'll copy this to the clipboard in case the forum eats it again...
I'll have to look into it more later, but I think Oskar Lange proposed something similar (well after his 1936 articles on the calculation problem).
I'm assuming you're referring to something that was debated among Soviet economists but never implemented (because Soviet money could never really be allowed to perform the function of money much beyond formalized accounting and control)?
Could you be talking about Khachaturov? I know he created a "coefficient of relative effectiveness" in order to allow the state to make the right selections from among various alternative state investment projects that was covertly identical to the market rate of interest (that is, in its algebraic representation, though it could only ever be a farce in its functionality). I can't for the life of me recall if he's written explicitly on money proper, but it wouldn't surprise me. Or were you referring to someone more known, like Voznesensky? Do you remember the era (1920s, 50s, etc)? Were they definitely Soviet (from the former USSR) or did you mean communist?
Thanks for the speedy reply!
I'm afraid that's the problem, I don't really recall any of the details!
I'm pretty sure the idea or system was never implemented, on any scale. My memory says there was a humorous element where someone either pointed out that what he had was the same as money or he was asked what the difference was between his system and simple currency?
It was just a single article from here or Lew Rockwell's site from quite a few years ago, describing something from the Soviet era. Quite possibly from G North but he's such a prolific writer that searching his archives is like the proverbial needle...
"Coefficient of relative effectiveness" could well be it, though I though there was a more individualized element to it, i.e. for people, rather than state investment. I may be wrong though
I recall the "technocrats" suggesting a system of score points that kind of replaced money in their scheme.
OK... but does technocrat name any group of actual people or is it just a description of an idea?
Mmm.. Wiki sez Americans?
"In 1932, Howard Scott and Marion King Hubbert founded Technocracy Incorporated, and proposed that money be replaced by energy certificates denominated in units such as ergs or joules, equivalent in amount to an appropriate national energy budget, which could be divided equally among all members of a North American continental technate. The group argued that apolitical, rational engineers should be vested with authority to guide an economy into a thermodynamically balanced load of production and consumption, thereby doing away with unemployment and debt.
The Technocracy movement was highly popular in the USA for a brief period in the early 1930s, during the Great Depression. By the mid-1930s, interest in the movement was declining. Some historians have attributed the decline of the technocracy movement to the rise of Roosevelt's New Deal."
It mentions the Soviet government could be called a technoracry.
Dunno, maybe "ergs" is what I was thinking of, though I was sure it was some Russian thing.
I'm pretty sure you've nailed it there!
Seems it was 'competition' and prices, rather than currency per which he thought could be done better by experts and central planning. And apparently it was Hayek, of all people, that told him he was being an idiot.
Seems Lange came to agree with him :)
This may be a long shot, but are you referring to Leonid Kantorovich's "resolving multipliers"?
The keyboard is mightier than the gun.
Non parit potestas ipsius auctoritatem.
A points system... Isnt that just becoming more like......capitalism?
If you read lessons for the young economist, there is a section that talks about this
“Since people are concerned that ‘X’ will not be provided, ‘X’ will naturally be provided by those who are concerned by its absence.""The sweetest of minds can harbor the harshest of men.”
Long but accurate... creating math formulas to calculate resource management is just the kind of conceited central planning scheme I was thinking of...
I think I'll have to give you and Jonathan a tie!
Glad I could help!