The End of Laissez-Faire: National Purpose and the Global Economy After the Cold War

Robert Kuttner, Author Knopf Publishing Group $27.5 (304p) ISBN 978-0-394-57995-5
The collapse of communism and the end of the Cold War--far from signalling a victory for unbridled free-market capitalism--portend the end of laissez-faire economics. That's the provocative thesis of Kuttner's sweeping, important reassessment of America's economy and its place in the newly emerging world order. For a quarter-century after WW II, he argues, the U.S. practiced a mixed brand of capitalism, with much of the national planning done under military auspices. Meanwhile, the U.S. preached laissez-faire, since it was the country best positioned to exploit open global markets. A Business Week columnist and economic correspondent for the New Republic, Kuttner urges a ``policy of planning'' to reclaim America's industrial leadership, plus a global system of collective security instead of an East-West arms race in which the U.S. acts as free world super-cop. This closely argued book administers a potent dose of economic reality. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 02/04/1991
Release date: 02/01/1991
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