DILEMMAS FACING THE NATION by Herbert V.--Ed. Prochnow


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Considering the many and diverse problems facing the country, it may seem surprising that 17 contributors, plus the editor, could achieve a unified perspective and agreement on basic issues. But a quick look at the contributors clears up the mystery. Four of the group are important figures in national and international banking, two are corporate board chairmen (Standard Oil--Indiana, GM), three--William Simon, George Romney, and James Hodgson--are former Cabinet members, three are former ambassadors, and so on. Not surprisingly, then, they agree overall that inflation is the biggest problem, that unrestrained government interference in the free market economy is its cause, and that a return to basic principles of economic self-aggrandizement--together with old-fashioned aggressiveness--is the solution. The one potential dissenter-if only because he represents labor--is George Meany, who spends his chapter extolling the AFL-CIO record in fostering free international labor cooperation and keeping the Commies out. Reading like a brochure for the American Enterprise Institute, the book goes on (and on) about the hard necessity of making choices between economic growth and government-sponsored social programs, about government stifling of domestic oil development, about environmental straight-jacketing by regulation. The fact that so many of these men (eight) have served in government posts adds an air of incredulity.

Pub Date: April 25th, 1979
Publisher: Harper & Row