Public Speaking and Postwar Economic Policy

Public Speaking and Postwar Economic Policy

Public Speaking and Postwar Economic Policy

Public Speaking and Postwar Economic Policy

Excerpt

The present study had its genesis in the author's interest, while he was a member of the staff of the Division of Monetary Research of the United States Treasury Department, in the development of federal spending measures seeking to combat the course of the 1937 recession. The great controversy at that time between the advocates of expansionist public spending and the "budget balancers" vividly revealed the absence of agreement which reigned in the field of fiscal policy. The admixture of theoretical improvisation and political expediency apparent in the conflicting arguments underscored the tentative character of our knowledge in this area. An opportunity to undertake a more general study in the field of public spending was offered in the form of a Littauer Fellowship at Harvard University during the academic year 1939-1940.

In the Fiscal Policy Seminar of the Harvard Graduate School of Public Administration, presided by Professor Alvin H. Hansen and Professor John H. Williams, an opportunity was afforded to examine various issues of this youthful discipline. The original plan of the volume was enlarged from an appraisal of New Deal emergency spending policy to an examination of the scope and place of compensatory public spending in our economy. The intervention of World War II prompted a further reorientation of the study in the direction of postwar economic policy.

The author wishes to acknowledge the kind assistance first of Professor J. M. Clark who made many helpful suggestions at various stages of the writing of the volume. Thanks are gratefully extended to Professor Carl S. Shoup and Professor Robert Murray Haig, of Columbia University, who read the original manuscript and offered many helpful criticisms. The writer's indebtedness to Professor Hansen is especially great and is in no wise adequately indicated in the text. I am also indebted to Robert R. Nathan, of the War Production Board, Harvey S. Perloff, of the Federal Reserve Board, Arthur E. Burns, of the National Bureau of Economic Research, Benjamin Ginzburg and Ben Caplan, of the Office of Price Administration, Reid Denis and Lloyd Metzler, of Harvard University, who read all or parts of the . . .

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