Problems of American Economic Growth

Problems of American Economic Growth

Problems of American Economic Growth

Problems of American Economic Growth

Excerpt

The economic growth of all countries, including the United States, is being given increasing attention. The proper policy for growth is occupying the efforts of our national policy-makers. Economic theoreticians are studying its intricacies. It seems necessary to bring the problems we face to the attention of beginning students and of the adult population if they are to think seriously about them and if policies based on the findings of economic and social theory are to be understood by the public and adopted. Advanced students will probably find nothing new in this book and may even be surprised at the oversimplification of complicated ideas. This book is not intended for such readers. It is hoped that many will be influenced to proceed further into the study of growth and, as they learn more about it, help solve our unresolved problems. It is hoped further that the many will have a better idea of what the few who are advancing the frontiers of knowledge are striving for.

For this reason, the level of analysis is relatively low and, for the most part, assumes no prior knowledge of economics. There are spots in which such a student will have a rough time but for the most part he will not.

A second reason for attempting this in the form in which it is cast is that too many students leave our present elementary courses feeling that there is little left for them to do in economics. Our present texts feel impelled to prescribe a policy for every problem and in the necessary limitations of space cannot discuss all alternatives, but instead give their own particular solution. I have observed that many students complete the text with the feeling that economic problems are pretty well solved and that little interesting work remains to be done. They are interested in "learning" the course, and getting to their employment. One motive of this book then is to try to convince the student at a relatively early level that there still remain a large number of economic dragons to be slain. One good St. George will be worth the effort.

Consequently, the objective is to raise the problems we will encounter and not to answer them. Many problems, in fact, have no agreed-on answer. Hopefully, the reader is left unclear as to just what should be done, partly because the writer himself doesn't know the . . .

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