John Gobson

Picture of John Gobson

Date of Birth: 1858

Age: 82

Place of birth: Derby

Citizenship: United Kingdom


Hobson was born in Derby in 1858 and also died at home in Hampstead, in 1940. He studied at the school of Derby and Lincoln College (Oxford), where he handed over the final exam for a degree, 1976-80 years., but he got three. In the 1880-81 biennium. He studied classical literature at Feversheme and Exeter, and later moved to London, where in addition to his private income (from the newspaper, the Derby, which is owned by his father), he began periodically to make journalism, lecturing and writing books. Worthy of remark is that it plans to work as a university teacher of Economics were upset by Professor F. Edgeworth, who considered his views too heretical. Hobson never was offered an academic post in the English university or publish an article in the Economic Journal. He remained a publicist, promoting their views in books (he wrote or co-wrote more than fifty books) and in a series of press organs of the liberal and socialist trends: in the Progressive Review, published in 1890; in the Manchester Guardian, especially during the Boer War; 1907 in Nation, published by HW Messingamom, and later in the successor of this body New Statesmen & Nation.

Follow reputation Hobson painted his alleged role not only as a precursor of Lenin and his theory of imperialism, but also Keynes and his concept of effective demand. None of these links are not sufficient factual evidence, but they both gave rise to distortion of the image of the intellectual Hobson. By nature he was a fighter with common views and a man who rebelled against the crowd. His contribution to science is negligible, and that in his work recognized scientific contribution, even less. Having been in a few places for a categorical refusal of a place, he depicted himself as an economic heretic with characteristic impurity call and irony. Cut off from their academic colleagues, speaking in them sent to various media articles against orthodox economic views, he left a legacy that is uniquely difficult to estimate and which is easy to find a formal contradiction. And yet, it gives a general vision of the boundaries and the nature of economic theory that is both original and internally consistent.

Over time, Hobson has been known as a representative of the theory of underconsumption. His first book (The Physiology of Industry. London. 1889.) Was written in collaboration with AF Memmeri, an entrepreneur who seems to have played a leading role in writing the book. The purpose of the book was to identify the shortcomings of classical political economy in its version that was outlined Dzh. S. Mill. Its main idea is that the trade depression is caused by a deficiency of effective demand, because it is the level of consumption in the near future, limiting the possibility of profitable production. It follows that there is a limit to the amount of useful savings, which can make the society. Every individual could make savings to their advantage, but the overall result would be a state of under-consumption, which in another is called excess savings. Hobson sought to understand this process of self-liquidating as an example of what he called a multi-faceted mistake individualism - the idea, contained in his works in a much more general terms than a single concept nedoporebleniya. Thus, the polemical attack his first book was directed against the tendency of economists praise thrift, because it prevents the integration of the key importance of maintaining sufficient demand. This statement, which characterizes Hobson as a theorist of underconsumption, was repeated in two of his subsequent books (The Evolution of Modern Capitalism. London. 1894; The Problem of the Unemployed. London. 1896.), In which it acts as an economic heretic, which manifests itself in disagreement with the neoclassical analysis on a broad range of issues. His disagreement with Marginalism on the grounds that the latter is based on the unrealistic process of abstraction, marks the widening gap with the Marshallian tradition (The Social Problem. London. 1901; Free Thought in Social Sciences. London. 1926.).

His approach to the problem of underconsumption Hobson also added distribution theory (Economics of Distribution. London. 1900.), which it is based, mainly, on fabianovskoy theory of rent. He made a distinction between the costs associated with ensuring the existence of any factor of production and the rental element, and claimed that, in principle, to the land, labor or capital could be added and added value. Then he introduced the idea of ??compulsory income as a claim in the process of the parties to the negotiations, which has great power, resulting in individuals receiving unearned income and classes. Hobson also suggested that the share of income, which is, in this sense, economically dysfunctional changes in direct proportion to the absolute level of earnings. It follows that the progressive taxation, in practice, would not weaken no natural incentive to the implementation of production.

Later this analysis was complicated (The Industrial System. London. 1909.) by distinguishing between productive surplus, which covers the costs of growth and unproductive surplus is distributed over the functional principle. Morally, it is the prerogative of the community that created it. If redistributive taxation might return this surplus to its rightful owners, the excessively rich savings would be reduced and straightened the situation with the underconsumption of the poor. This functional view of the proper operation of the economic system, which is essential for the eradication of parasitism arose again and again in the works Hobson as one of its main ideas. He honored the idea of ??the name of a natural law and often pointed to the source of its evolution. However, he also referred to and the authority of John Ruskin, which he dedicated to the enthusiastic study (John Ruskin, Social Reformer. London. 1898.), Due to the fact that he was as a result of economic activity of quantitative analyzes consumption rather than production. He tried to combine these ideas in one of the most frequently reprinted his book (1894) by the following formula: From each according to ability, to each according to his needs.

Gobsonovskaya imperialism theory, developed in response to the Anglo-Boer War (1892-1902 gg.), Is based on the following grounds. As a supporter of the Boers, Hobson tried to analyze the reasons for Britain joining the two South African republics. Visiting as a correspondent of Manchester Guardian South Africa, he pointed to the existence of powerful interests that control the gold mines and the press, and in this context referred to the class of financial capitalists, among which the dominant position occupied by foreign Jews (The War in South Africa: its causes and effects . London. 1900.). Equivalent to whether such anti-Semitic reference - a moot point. Anyway, Hobson responded assertion that obvious national interests were under threat due to the cosmopolitan nature of this class. Speculative investment in underdeveloped areas it is considered as the cause of imperialism and claimed that it is due to the existence of a parasitic class at home. In this sense, underconsumption is the economic root of imperialism (Imperialism: A Study London 1902...). The idea, which he categorically disagreed, was that there is a sufficiently comprehensive income for the country as a whole on trade and investment in Africa as a return on the cost of aggression. Therefore, in contrast to Lenin, Hobson denied that imperialism is a structural need for the metropolitan economy. It was possible and necessary redistributive tax policies, which would create the opposite effect in the form of undercutting the relevant economic root (final excess savings) and to stimulate domestic demand (decrease in final underconsumption).

The economic implication of this is that Britain could easily make up for any loss of foreign trade, creating wealth on its territory, it was an argument in favor of protectionism, which Hobson decided to hush up in accordance with the spirit of the time. This was due to the fact that Hobson was looking to improve the reformist Liberal and Labour parties committed to the idea of ??free trade. He was convinced that imperialism could be overcome by democratic means just because he does not serve the interests of the majority, and only a privileged part of society. Therefore, in his most famous book Imperialism ... policy paid twice as much space than economic theory. It was necessary, because the question was how the policy has been adopted, which is a bad business for the nation as a whole. The answer lies in the fact that Finance controlled the mechanism motor whose power stemmed from some other place. Thus, much of the research Hobson was devoted to the forces of nationalism and social psychology, which supplied fuel to the policy of self-affirmation (The Psychology of Jingoism. London. 1901). His view of the benefits of foreign investment was strongly colored by the context in which it considered this problem. At least one book (An Economic Interpretation of Investment. London. 1911). He expressed approval of cosmopolitan finance as a force conducive to peace and progress. Throughout his life he was a follower of the amazing degree R. Cobden (Richard Cobden: International Man. London. 1919.), And during the First World War, he eventually left the Liberal Party, when he decided that she betrayed a good cause free trade.

Obviously, Hobson does not entirely given to the idea of ??underconsumption. In the early 1900s, his energy was focused on the fact that the soak liberal party of economic theory with a wide base that would justify the rejection of the classical methods of laissez faire in favor of interventionist policies aimed at enhancing social justice (Crisis of Liberalism. 1909). . It was a new liberalism for which Hobson and his friend LT Gobhaus became intellectual leaders. Publication of the work of Hobson The Industrial System (1909), which summarizes much of what he wrote before, perhaps coincides with the work of Lloyd George Peoples Budget (1909), and includes a study of redistributive taxation policy that is based on the concept of surplus. This aspect obscures the position Hobson about underconsumption, despite the fact that here he goes further than ever before, when he analyzed the dynamic process by which excess savings reduce all real income in the economy to the level at which, the automatic limiter that process. It could be called the most advanced macro idea Hobson.

During the depression of the post-First World War, Hobson returns to this theme, and it is in this period of his economic views have become the most famous. Now his name has been closely associated with the Labour Party, and he found a natural application for their ideas, using the economic case in relation to the subsistence minimum. His point of view regarding the excess savings in skolko-nibud not changed substantially, but when he repeated it at the time of mass unemployment, he met a sympathetic response even among professional economists who had previously assumed full employment. In particular, for 1930 years at Hobson have developed very good relations with Dzh. M. Keynes, who in previous years belonged to his views with disdain. However, Keynes sought to keep a distance that can be seen in his book, A Treatise on Money (Vol. 1. The London. 1930.). The reason for this was that when Keynes wrote of excess savings, he meant the lack of investment, whereas for Hobson`s savings and investment were the two names of the same, and under the excess savings he had always meant insufficient spending. Therefore, it was natural that Keynes showed more interest in social work policy as a means of increasing investments, while Hobson favored redistribution as a means of stimulating consumption. Only in his General Theory Keynes failed to fully grasp the extent to which its new concept of effective demand was anticipated in the works of Hobson, who first gave abundant, but a belated tribute.