What Hope for the Economy?

According to the rhetoric of the Reagan administration much of the machinery of government should be dismantled and its functions, ideally, be limited to those intended by the Founding Fathers to serve the needs of the simple, agricultural community. Public opinion is becoming increasingly skeptical of this view and most …

The Situation Is Desperate But Not Critical

“There is a real danger that in the year 2000, a large part of the world’s population will be living in poverty.” This is a quotation from the foreword to the so-called Brandt Report. A more realistic assessment of the present state of the world economy, and of social and …

The Limits of Economics

Philosophy asks the important questions, but as soon as an answer is in sight a new discipline splits away and sets out on its own pursuit. This possibly explains why now—as two thousand years ago—philosophers are still preoccupied with unsolvable problems: those that can be solved are always snatched out …

George McGovern: On Taxing & Redistributing Income

The distribution of income is clearly emerging as the issue that will dominate the American political scene in the closing quarter of this century. The share that each member of our society receives in the immense and still swelling stream of goods and services produced annually by the American economy not only largely determines the level of satisfaction of his daily needs but also provides means for attaining many, if not all, of his highest aspirations. But more than this, under our political institutions the income and the amount of wealth controlled by any one group, in relation to other groups, determines decisively the power it can wield in influencing, not to say in directing, all government activities.

The Trouble with Cuban Socialism

Last July 26, on the day that marked the eleventh anniversary of the Cuban revolution, addressing hundreds of thousands of citizens on the same rostrum from which he was accustomed to hail his victories, Fidel analyzed in detail the failure of the great ten-million-ton harvest. [^1] To critical observers who …

Mysterious Japan: A Diary

Sunday, March 8, Tokyo: The fourteen-hour flight from New York (with a refueling stopover at Fairbanks, Alaska) is one of the longest flights one can make to a conference on pollution (or rather on Kogai, public nuisances, as some of my Japanese friends refer to it). Yesterday when I was …

Notes on a Visit to Cuba

Friday, May 2nd: A Russian-built four-motor plane landed us at the Havana airport early in the afternoon. Havana is barely eighty miles away from the southern tip of Florida. But for a US citizen it is now nearly as difficult to reach as the moon; and to return home by …

Bigger or Better?

The tax rise passed last June by a reluctant Congress, five months before a presidential election, marked the end of a story that began four years ago when the previous Congress—with considerably less reluctance—voted a major tax cut in spite of an impending Federal deficit: The New Economics is now …

Primer for the Great Society

The Commission that has issued this Report was established in August 1964 by an Act of Congress. The United States economy was then already booming. The percentage of total labor force unemployed, while gradually declining, was however still a high 5 percent as against the 4 per cent declared by …