Taking a dim view of our so-called affluent society, the authors assert that the leading growth industry in the U.S., aside from warfare, is welfare. They go on to note that the past twelve years have seen a 60% increase of names on the public assistance roles, and (as Professor Cloward has demonstrated) if every person entitled to aid exercised his rights, governmental and private welfare agencies would be overwhelmed by the numbers. The authors charge that the American political economy has built-in institutional defects which make a myth out of the American dream, not only for the desperately poor, but for the majority of the population. Saddled by a personal consumer debt of half a trillion dollars, the average American buys his illusory comforts by spending 22Â¢ out of every after-tax dollar on private interest payments. Reviving the axiom that all men have the right to produce and consume wealth, the authors advocate an intriguing program, which they claim would ensure massive industrial expansion and affluence in our lifetime for poor as well as economically advanced countries. Like The Capitalist Manifesto, which Kelso co-authored in 1958, this is a relatively 'demanding book. Whether the solution is naive or prophetic, its indictment of the status quo remains a severe and persuasive one.