A working site for research and writing on the thinkers who developed the system that works.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Leon Keyserling, the New Deal and the Postwar Prosperity

A manifesto


Employment and the "New Economics"

Leon H. Keyserling Council of Economic Advisers
The main focus of national economic and related social policies should be upon federally guaranteed full em ployment and a federally initiated nationwide system of guar anteed income for those who cannot be brought within the employment stream. Progress toward these objectives will add more to personal development and national achievement than a further proliferation of marginal programs called "new." Full-time unemployment should be reduced to about 2 per cent of the civilian labor force, and the true level of unemployment to about 3 to 3.5 per cent. Full employment, optimum eco nomic growth, and optimum allocation of resources, in line with the great social priorities of national needs, are inseparable objectives and do not involve much programmatic differentia tion. The prevalent view that these objectives involve exces sive or even enlarged inflationary pressures is not justified by empirical observation. The drive against "inflation" thus far has inflated the fat and starved the lean. The aggregate and structural approaches to full employment need a new synthesis. We need, particularly under the aegis of the Employment Act of 1946, a ten-year budget of our needs and resources. All na tional public policies importantly affecting resource-allocation, including the federal budget, should be made an integral part of this long-range budget. The core problem for the years ahead is to maintain that one increasing purpose in our national life which is essential if we are to realize the promise of America.

The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 373, No. 1, 102-119 (1967)
DOI: 10.1177/000271626737300105

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