The Economic Mind in America: Essays in the History of American Economics

By Malcolm Rutherford | Go to book overview

NOTES
1
The author would like to acknowledge the helpful comments of Warren Samuels and Perry Mehrling.
2
A long list of these could be compiled including Herbert Hoover (Barber 1985), Walter Lippmann (Goodwin 1995), Charles Merriam (Karl 1974), Beardsley Ruml and other key figures at the Ford and Carnegie Foundations (Alchon 1985:118-124); along with John Dewey and a number of the social scientists profiled in chapters 10 and 11 of Ross (1991).
3
Burns (1952:97). Mitchell once wrote to Dewey: “There is no one to whom I feel under heavier intellectual obligation than yourself” (Letter of December 7, 1934, Dewey folder, correspondence section, Mitchell papers).
4
Mitchell (1937:18); Mitchell (1913:588-596). Mitchell’s view on economic research and business planning was shared by Herbert Hoover both as Secretary of Commerce and as President. For more on Mitchell and Hoover’s view of how the education of and dissemination of information to businessmen could moderate business cycles, see Barber (1985:8-13, 41).
5
Mitchell (1927:167-173); Mitchell (1937:88-93, 117).
6
Late statements of this view are found in L.S. Mitchell (1953:553, 561-562, 567) and Mitchell (1941:13-16).
7
Mitchell (1939b:1); Mitchell (1937:403-10).
8
Mitchell (1937:51); Mitchell (1939b:9); Mitchell (1939c:605); Mitchell (1940:10-13).
9
Mitchell (1939b: 3D; Mitchell (1941:16-17).
10
Mitchell (1939b: 10); Mitchell (1940:20-21); Mitchell (1941:14); Mitchell (1945:13).
11
Mitchell (1931:107); Mitchell (1940:10-11, 20-21); Mitchell (1941:13, 16-17).
12
For example, “Science properly considered does not undertake to say what ought to be done. That is the responsibility in this country of the representatives of the people who have been chosen by the democratic process” (U.S. Congress 1945:739).
13
Mitchell (1939a: 3). See also Mitchell (1937:127); Mitchell (1934a:26-27); Mitchell (1931:107); Mitchell (1939c:605); L.S. Mitchell (1953:374-375, 567-568).
14
Mitchell once wrote to J.M. Clark (Letter of January 19, 1944, J.M. Clark folder, correspondence section, Mitchell papers): “If one wishes to make anything clear by talking, it is…best to concentrate on what the people before you need to hear and not confuse them by mentioning all the points pertinent to your theme or by putting in all the qualifications, even of your main proposition, that you would think requisite in a full presentation,” and almost all Mitchell’s writings on social science and social policy were originally public addresses. Rutherford (1994:138) writes that Mitchell “made no sharp distinction between means and ends,” which probably reflects what Mitchell thought, but not what he repeatedly stressed to a variety of audiences. A few times Mitchell did point out that social science research could help contribute to the formation of social values by making clear the consequences of pursuing particular values and the possible conflicts between simultaneously held social values (Mitchell 1937:135; Mitchell 1939c: 603; L.S. Mitchell 1953:374-376). The argument appears most prominently in Mitchell’s address “Intelligence and the Guidance of Economic Evolution” (Mitchell 1937:103-136, delivered in 1936), but was placed there only at the prompting of his colleague Arthur Burns. Mitchell asked Burns for comments on

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