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The new economics and the quality control (2000/04)

Hanching Chung

I sent a letter to The Economists to comments on the two reports of March 4th issue on  "The future of economics" and the land of disappointments (for Quality Control practices of Japan." I believe that both articles missed some vital points.

The scope and potential of the new economics are much broader than the reported articles. W. Edwards Deming's The New Economics approach is an important alternative.

The prescription using USA's 'top-down' approaches for Japanese failures in some government agencies' projects as reported in an article in The Economists is misleading. The root causes of trouble of Japanese are common. For example, I read an article in The Asia Wall Street Journal in April 14th(Page 2 for International News as follows,

Boeing Tells Airlines, Agency About More Aircraft Defects: Wrong Fasteners Aren't a Hazard, Company Says…

 

You asked that in the long run, is the subject dead? ("The future of economics", Mar. 4th, 2000). Well, it might be too early to say long live the Keynes but ever since the Aisopos, Oeconomicus, The Fable of the Bees, to recent troubles in "The land of disappointments" of the same issue, people are struggling to get out of lands of wastes (I means most organizations and markets, not only in the 'science and technology' section) to enhance their productivity and quality of life.

 

It is a pity that we are only beginning to enter the age of various new economies of quality century, most people still prefer to think in terms of quantity only, and some people in industries and governments (pp.91-93) didn't see the meaning, the scales and scopes of the improvements we can gain from applying the simple and basic theory and methods of the economics we learned. The so-called top-down system approach in the USA is not optimal one (p.92) either since it is not a cost-effective one. There are many other better alternatives. The actions of Japanese government for the projects you mentioned are also misleading accordingly...Every week I read the 'behaviors' and decisions described in The Economist, I can see the potential opportunities for the people who can understand and appreciate the power of the new economics (or Socrates' politics.) Incidentally, one of teacher of quality control for Japan in '50 wrote his last book called The New Economics and some Japanese are starting to study it hard.



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