Problems of American Economic Growth

By Bruce R. Morris | Go to book overview

CHAPTER TWELVE
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS

The major portion of this work was concerned with raising problems we will encounter as we attempt to grow. No pretense is made that the list is exhaustive, as undoubtedly many, including important ones, were overlooked. Evidence was presented that we are growing and that our long-period rate of growth is no slower than we experienced in the past. Hope and confidence were expressed that we will continue to grow and that we can grow even faster than we have if we are willing to put forth the effort and follow the proper policies. The real questions before us are whether we are willing to put forth the necessary effort, make the necessary sacrifices that growth policy might indicate, and, ultimately, whether we really know the right combination of policies that will bring us the growth which we feel we are capable of achieving.

We saw many areas in which it seems possible to help growth. Yet policies designed to correct different situations could conceivably conflict. Moreover, it is impossible to do everything at once. Either our physical resources are limited, for example, there may not be enough capital to undertake every useful activity or personnel to carry out the activities may be unavailable. In many cases, activity is called for by government. The ability of governments to expand their activities without running into inefficiencies is limited. Therefore, not all the potentially useful solutions can be pursued at any one time. We must pick and choose, devoting our attention to those that appear to be the most promising. To choose correctly is one of the most difficult tasks we face. It is not enough to justify an activity by showing that increased growth will result. It must also be shown that greater growth can be obtained than by using the same resources in any other way (assuming for the moment that growth is what is wanted). It is in this ability to choose the best alternative course of action with our limited means that we show our greatest weakness.

To correct this means that further explorations into the theory and principles of economic growth are necessary. Today much effort is being placed on a study of the theory of growth of underdeveloped countries. This is an important endeavor. That the findings will be

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Problems of American Economic Growth
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents vii
  • Chapter One - Introduction 3
  • Chapter Two - The American Record 19
  • Chapter Three - The Supply of Raw Materials 39
  • Chapter Four - Population and the Supply of Workers 59
  • Chapter Five - The Supply of Capital 84
  • Chapter Six - Technological Change And Entrepreneurship 111
  • Chapter Seven - Consumer Demands 137
  • Chapter Eight - Government Expenditure 158
  • Chapter Nine - Relations with Other Economies 179
  • Chapter Ten - Problem of Balanced Growth 217
  • Bibliography 256
  • Chapter Twelve - Summary and Conclusions 257
  • Appendix A 262
  • Bibliography 266
  • Index 267
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