Fully aware of the difficulty of covering all the ramifications of business, government, and public policy in one textbook, the authors have sought to integrate into a meaningful presentation the pertinent materials suitable for the college course on this subject. This book should be especially useful in courses given in the liberal arts curriculum, as well as in the business administration program. Although students will find that a knowledge of basic economics is a helpful preliminary, it is not essential. The authors have included the fundamental economic underpinning needed to understand the functions and characteristics (pertinent to this study) of the activities and institutions that are described. For this reason and because the political behavioral aspect is highlighted, the political science student will find the book appealing. The authors have also kept in mind the interest of business executives involved in decision-making processes where relationships between government and business are critical.
In general, the approach has been to include an analysis of the major sectors of the economy. Since so much of current business policy is, concerned with the restraints of antitrust legislation, this problem of government and business has received major attention. Other areas, however, such as labor, transportation, public utilities, small business, and agriculture, are described as additional illustrations of the increasing role of government in the economy.
The book is broadly organized so that the influence of government on the national scene is treated first, followed by a treatment of state and local and then international governmental regulations and relationships. However, where meaningful, the interrelationships of these sectors are integrated in the analysis.
The objective throughout has been to get the reader to appreciate that business and government are mutually interdependent and that effective public policy can be developed only through enlightened cooperation.
Appendices have been included at the end of the book to illuminate areas such as Government Competition with Private Enterprise and to allow the student to read, first-hand, policy statements such as the Economic Report of the President. A rather extensive Bibliography, Index of Cases, and Subject Index will, it is hoped, facilitate the use of the book. Charts, diagrams, and tables have been chosen to amplify structural features of the institutions described and to enhance, by statistical data, the discussion in the text.