Review: Governing the $5 Trillion Economy–A Twentieth Century Fund Essay

5 Star, Banks, Fed, Money, & Concentrated Wealth, Capitalism (Good & Bad), Economics

Amazon Page
Amazon Page

5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Analysis of Federal Budget As Influence Device,

February 27, 2002
Herbert Stein
This absolute gem from 1989 should be updated and republished. I have resurrected it in relation to my reading on federal budgeting and the dangers of the deficit spending now in vogue in Washington (2002).This is the best book I have read on the strategic aspects of the federal budget–needed reforms, key issues in allocation policy, using the budget to stabilize the economy.

Where the book excels is in its analysis of how the federal budget should be used to steer private sector outlays–as Osborne and Gaebler suggested, we must steer rather than row–guide the private sector rather than use taxpayer dollars for direct products and services.

In his discussion of priorities, the author focuses heavily on the lack of investment in education and the resurrection of education both public and private. As we enter the 21st Century largely ignorant as a Nation (of external realities, not at individuals), I cannot help but think that the time has come for the public to take charge of “political economy,” and begin actively setting forth its priorities. Just this week, in The Washington Post of 27 February 2002, David Ignatius suggests that Washington has turned its back on the Nation. Seems to me that’s pretty dangerous, but if the Nation allows itself to be ignored by Washington, then we have the government–and the federal spending priorities–we deserve.

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