Balancing Acts: Technology, Finance, and the American Future

James K. Galbraith, Author Basic Books $19.95 (265p) ISBN 978-0-465-00584-0
Galbraith, former executive director of the Congressional Joint Economic Committee and now associate professor at the University of Texas, seeks here to address ``the present paralysis of progressive economic opinion.'' The key to his analysis is the role played by the highly profitable and technically advanced capital goods and machine tools sector of the U.S. economy. He argues that American prosperity can be assured only if we maintain our technological leadership. To do this, the author (son of John Kenneth Galbraith) proposes to repair our national infrastructure, a tax hike to reduce the federal budget deficit, further depreciation of the dollar, and debt relief to Third World countries so that they can purchase American exports. He opposes certain kinds of government economic intervention, such as wage/price controls and subsidies to specific industries. His analysis loses some of its force in the face of the recent strong resurgence of the capital goods sector and the highest level of infrastructure spending in 13 years. In the course of trying to revive ``progressive economic opinion'' by justifying some government economic intervention, Galbraith offers a few novel insights, but ultimately his analysis is not persuasive. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/27/1989
Release date: 03/01/1989
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-465-00586-4
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