Perestroika for America: Restructuring U.S. Business-Government Relations for Competitiveness in the World Economy

George C. Lodge, Author Harvard Business School Press $29.95 (235p) ISBN 978-0-87584-234-9
Harvard B School professor Lodge wants to jettison old-fashioned laissez-faire economics and unashamedly adopt a national industrial policy, but his thesis ignores a good many economic developments that argue against it. Even the book's title is ironic, since the Soviets are struggling toward a laissez-faire policy. Lodge sees close government/business cooperation as the only way for the U.S. to regain international competitiveness. He praises the Japanese model of subsidizing strategic industries, even as the ``Japanese miracle'' has begun to show signs of decay. He wants the American government to underwrite industrial research and development and engage in protectionism. He approves of the government-subsidized Sematech semiconductor consortium and favors a similar program for high-definition television (HDTV). However, Sematech is behind schedule and, as others have convincingly argued, HDTV is already an outmoded technology. Lodge's vision of big government cozying up with big business isn't justified by the facts. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/01/1990
Release date: 05/01/1990
Genre: Nonfiction
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