PROFITS AND THE FUTURE OF AMERICAN SOCIETY by S. Jay & David A. Levy Levy

PROFITS AND THE FUTURE OF AMERICAN SOCIETY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A confusing book, riddled With contradictions, which attempts to argue that maximizing profits is the way to cure America's economic ills. The Levys' prescription consists of some federal sssistance (chiefly in the form of economic forecasts), judicious use of fiscal policy (""Any federal deficit that maintains an optimum flow of profits to the business sector cannot cause inflation""), and looser monetary policy (tight money is ""unemployment policy""). The central chapter, ""The Economy in Motion,"" is a baffling exposition of flows through the ""profit pipeline"" into the ""net worth storage tank,"" and between the ""capital goods sector"" and the ""consumer goods sector"" (which here includes the federal government, the military, and all services) and back. For the Levys, capital investment is the major determinant of profit--regardless of whether there's a market for the goods made by the new machines. They generally ignore tax considerations; they generally ignore foreign competition. They say that it's a ""Marxist myth"" that workers and entrepreneurs have opposing interests; they also say that ""Rising labor costs--the result of employee compensation--was the major inflationary force of the 1970's."" Singly, few of these contentions hold up; in the aggregate, they don't hold together. Of the many economic diagnoses going around, one of the flimsiest.

Pub Date: Feb. 16th, 1983
Publisher: Harper & Row