THE DECLINE OF U.S. POWER (And What We Can Do About It) by Business Week Team

THE DECLINE OF U.S. POWER (And What We Can Do About It)

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In diagnosing America's declining power, and prescribing remedies, the Business Week crew focuses, predictably, on business. The Middle East figures predominantly as representing a conflation of problems; U.S. energy needs and the reliance on OPEC, fears of Soviet expansion, the decline of American political influence, etc. All these problems stem, the authors say, from the weakened U.S. economy--which they attribute, in turn, to the guns and butter policies of Vietnam and the Great Society. The productivity of U.S. firms declined, and inflation, unemployment, and the collapse of U.S. international economic might followed. The solutions they envisage start with raising productivity by shifting resources from consumption to productive investment--like giving the ""windfall profits"" from energy deregulation back to the oil companies, giving tax breaks for technological development, etc. Then, we need to take an orderly retreat from the dollar as the basic standard of international trade, pulling in the German mark and Japanese yen; later on, when the productivity measures work, we can elevate the dollar again. Most importantly, we have to forgo ethical or other standards in international economics and return to ""the pragmatism of the Yankee traders, who cared less for ideology than for profits"" (as if profit isn't an ideology). So if they bribe, we bribe. And we have to be understanding toward multinationals too, of course. Down with ecology, no-growth, the ""quality of life"" and other irresponsible nonsense! Up with profit, power, and arms, arms, arms. Musclebound economics.

Pub Date: June 30th, 1980
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin