U.S. Politics and the Global Economy: Corporate Power, Conservative Shift

By Ronald W. Cox; Daniel Skidmore-Hess | Go to book overview

4
Liberal Globalization
in the 1960s

The flaw in the pluralist heaven is that the heavenly chorus sings with a strong upper class accent.

—E. E. Schattschneider, The Semi-Sovereign People

Beneath the intense partisan conflict of the 1960 election a business-elite consensus was emerging on the basic issues of the political economy of the day. Even during the preinauguration transition period, the new administration began to lay the practical political groundwork for the extension of Eisenhower's foreign economic policy. Progressive and liberal critics of the Kennedy administration at the time believed that the priority given to trade policy was detrimental to important aspects of the liberal social agenda such as the extension of the Social Security system to health care coverage. Arthur Schlesinger, usually a leading celebrant of “Camelot, ” critically termed trade expansion the “unifying intellectual principle of the New Frontier.” This typification is accepted by one of Kennedy's foreign economic policy advisers, who has stated that liberal trade legislation “would test the Congress, test the temperature of public opinion, and serve as an educative device. So that there was in this sense a 'grand design,' there's no question about that.” 1

Despite the flutters of the financial markets subsequent to the election of a liberal Democrat in 1960, the Kennedy administration and, for that matter, the Johnson presidency up to 1965 would maintain a cautious, even conservative approach to domestic spending and monetary policy. Given Vice President Nixon's pragmatic move to the center in the late 1950s as the sluggish economy jeopardized his electoral ambitions, it is very difficult to identify how Nixon would have differed from Kennedy in the essentials of trade and fiscal policy.

President-elect Kennedy appointed Republican financier C. Douglas Dillon to Treasury, the relatively obscure but well-connected Dean Rusk 2

-105-

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U.S. Politics and the Global Economy: Corporate Power, Conservative Shift
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents v
  • Introduction - A Critical-Historical Perspective on Globalization 1
  • 1 - The New Deal and Liberal Hegemony 17
  • Notes 33
  • 2 - The Postwar Political Economy 37
  • Notes 62
  • 3 - Business Conflict and Cold War Ideology 67
  • Notes 99
  • 4 - Liberal Globalization in the 1960s 105
  • Notes 132
  • 5 - The End of Bretton Woods 137
  • Notes 157
  • 6 - The Reagan Revolution 161
  • Notes 197
  • 7 - Conclusion: the 1990s and Beyond 203
  • Notes 219
  • Acronyms 223
  • Selected Bibliography 225
  • Index 237
  • About the Book 250
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