THE FREE ENTERPRISERS: Kennedy, Johnson and the Business Establishment by Hobert Rowen

THE FREE ENTERPRISERS: Kennedy, Johnson and the Business Establishment

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The economic policies of the Kennedy administration provided more problematic material for both friend and f than most of his other, less ambivalent positions. Was Kennedy anti-business? Or were the accusations more a reflex reaction of private industry against any Democratic President? Did his overtures to business in the form of extended investment credit and tax reform show him to be more of an emancipated Eisenhower Conservative than a New Frontier Liberal? This review of Kennedy's economic decisions by the Newsweek business trends editor and inside Washington correspondent reveals the former president's earnest efforts for a rapprochement, rather than a ""big spender's"" struggle, with business. His adamancy in the stool crisis was followed by measures aimed at reducing the balance of payments gap as well as unemployment, but he was unwilling to place the full public burden on the government to accomplish it. The author attributes the appearance of Johnson's better business relations to his informal cordiality, but finds any real change in policy still incipient. JFK's unfinished business is now LBJ's headache, and a sharp realignment of issues more towards a balanced economy, less towards a balanced budget, is the necessary outline for the future. The events, and more interestingly, the people behind them are revealed here from the inside line, with special emphasis on the roles of advisors Dillon, Heller, and FRB Chairman Martin. The way the press line operates in Washington is in itself a worthwhile revelation. Although there may be other ways to evaluate the facts, this book provides an extended, well-informed, journalistic commentary that is assuredly of value to anyone concerned with U.S. economy.

Publisher: Putnam