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Money And The Coming World Order: The Creation Of International Monetary Order
- New York University Press

Lewis E. Lehrman

Today, national economic policy making is largely concerned with the problems of unemployment and inflation. More precisely, it is their simultaneous combination in nearly all Western economies which preoccupies policy makers. As these problems grow worse, the stakes rise higher. We know that either severe unemployment or sustained inflation, let alone both together, can be expected to have the most serious consequences for liberal democracy.

During the postwar era, some had imagined the issue of widespread unemployment resolved by Lord Keynes who, forty years ago in the midst of a world depression, prescribed activist fiscal and monetary policies: "It may be possiblle," he wrote in The General Theory, "by a right analysis of the problem [unemployment], to sure the disease whilst preserving efficiency and freedom." Surely it is a proper and compassionate national goal to try to eliminate large-scale unemployment if it develops during the declining phase of the business cycle. But whether ever active monetary and fiscal full-employment policies, during all phases of the business cycle, are compatible with a reasonable degree of economic stability, let alone efficiency and freedom, has become a major question for our times. In fact, recurring interventionist government economic policies, in themselves, appear to be unmistakable causes of the intensifying disorders which increasingly charaterize the age.

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