Rating Nader

For the Progressives and New Dealers, who accepted capitalism but abhorred its excesses, government regulation of business was the answer to Marx. It resolved the contradiction between America’s concentrated economic structure and its democratic political faith. Through regulation, the liberals believed, the people retained sovereignty over the interests. As Arthur …

Screwed!

Tax reform, as George McGovern found out, is about as practical a cause as spelling reform. The income tax has been riddled with exceptions—not loopholes but truckholes, as the economist Joseph Pechman put it—since the day it was born. Every so often Congress feels moved to pass a cynical, regressive …

Taps for Liberals

Even without LBJ’s death, January would have been a month of epitaphs for the Great Society. First the White House announced an unprecedented freeze on appropriated funds for public housing and sewage treatment. Then it proposed a budget liquidating the most ambitious social projects of the 1960s—a Republican version of …

The TV Racket

In 1927, Philo T. Farnsworth, a backyard inventor, and his financial backer, George Everson, gathered for a demonstration of Farnsworth’s television apparatus. For the first time, Farnsworth successfully transmitted several graphic designs, including a dollar sign. As Everson recalled later, “It seemed to jump out at us on the screen.” …

A Case of Inflation

“Galbraith Corrects Galbraith’s Errors,” announced a New York Times story about the publication of the second edition of The New Industrial State. But the event hasn’t precisely matched the advance publicity. As befits a critic of the auto industry’s annual style changes, Professor Galbraith has avoided wasteful retooling costs in …

Mr. Nixon’s Economic Melodrama

One aspect of the new economic program of Nixon and John Connally should not have been unexpected: its benefits for the rich and disdain for the poor. Connally, in particular, has brought to the Administration a blunt favoritism for big business that calls to mind the way things are done …

The Myth that Things Are Getting Better

Two myths about the distribution of income comforted liberals during the 1950s. They believed that incomes were becoming steadily more equal, and that government spending programs uniformly accelerated that trend. Frederick Lewis Allen spoke for a self-satisfied New Deal generation when he said that “we had brought about a virtually …

Living with Inflation

The cruel choice between two evils, unemployment and inflation, has become the major economic issue of the day. Democrats and Republicans agree that both evils must be avoided and differ only on the means—with Democrats largely favoring the more drastic remedies. Congress has thrust upon the President authority for direct …