It's a rare man who will take a stand, as Robert Lekachman has, against the obdurate stupidity and venality of his own profession. If you would believe him, they're not just suffering from the ubiquitous crisis of morality--it's an academic and professional scandal. His position paper on the state of the dismal science goes straight to the bloody heart of the matter: ""the invisible hand,"" if it ever was, is no more. Whereas standard economics starts from an idealized, 18th century, laissez-faire vision of a free market, a quick glance at the Fortune 500 should be enough to convince anyone not deaf, dumb and blind that competition is stone dead. Antitrust, he suggests, is an out-and-out fake. Economists, he reveals, haven't even begun to study, much less comprehend, the multinationals which shape our daily lives politically as well as financially. Nor have they examined the role of trade unionism. After exploding the myth of the inflation-employment trade-off, he proposes that redistribution--a policy which, whether the rich care to acknowledge it or not, the OPEC nations have already embarked on--is the major issue for our time. This is neither a polemic, nor a muckrake, but a direct blow at the foundations and self-serving assumptions of contemporary economics. His review of theories, policies and policy-makers is so reasoned and incisive that it's hard to believe this book isn't going to shake up and maybe enrage a lot of people. An entire herd of sacred cows has hereby been most efficiently slaughtered, quartered and hung out in public view.