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This book is essentially a polemic about the world economy -- specifically the ""waste economies"" of the two ""gluttons,"" the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. Scheer, an anti-war activist who was allowed by the State Department to go to China before the ping-pong players, criticizes liberals for ignoring the multinational corporations and for sustaining the ""growth mania."" Environmentalists, however, have been too unpolitical. What is needed is a broad people's alliance to ""dismantle"" the power of ""Corporate America."" A great deal of the book is devoted to the questions of energy production and of assistance to the underdeveloped sector. On the one hand, Scheer acknowledges that the oil sheiks are under the control of the major companies: on the other hand he posits a new ""vulnerability of advanced economies to the Third World."" At one point he explains that the oil shortage was phony, but later he writes that it has become real, and a good thing too, because it will make people think about fundamentals and combat the ""sales ethic."" Scheer criticizes exploitation of cheap labor but then in effect endorses the World Bank plan for loans geared to labor-intensive development. He tends to fall into an us-old-journalists style with descriptions of his alcohol consumption and his poor-kid childhood, and in that frame of mind he endorses an ""eat the rich"" perspective: more soberly, he concludes that the Maoist model is the answer to the defects of both the zero population growth scheme and of capitalist growth. He complains about the smallness of his mother's garment-worker pension, but fails to indicate what place she would have in the move-mountains-by-hand society he envisions.

Pub Date: Nov. 17th, 1974
Publisher: McGraw-Hill