The Vampire State: And Other Myths and Fallacies About the U.S. Economy

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9781565841932: The Vampire State: And Other Myths and Fallacies About the U.S. Economy
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Argues that balancing the federal budget will not solve America's economic problems, discusses the flaws of a global free trade regime, and analyzes proposed economic reforms

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When you recall that the forces of Newt Gingrich got solidly behind the balanced budget amendment, that it was Ross Perot's embracing of deficit reduction that propelled his original meteoric presidential campaign, and that it is Bill Clinton who holds the title of greatest national debt reducer among post-World War II American presidents, you realize that the notion of balancing the federal books is no longer a conservative shibboleth; it's now the apple pie of economic politics. But Fred Block, a sociology professor, remains a dissenter.

The Vampire State is his brief against the importance of the idea of a balanced budget. Block argues that the demand to balance is based on a faulty metaphor, that of an economy that was once vibrant but has been leeched into weakness by a money-parasitic government. In truth, he holds, there are a lot of other factors for economic health besides the money supply, such as new technology, the ways businesses organize themselves, the quality of the labor pool, and the psychology of the investor pool. Indeed, the U.S. government often spurs the economy by drawing these factors into increased play. And we'd see that, argues Block, if, for instance, we abandoned the received, but pessimistic ways of measuring productivity, inflation, and savings.

About the Author:

Fred L. Block is a professor of sociology at the University of California at Davis.

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9781565841949: The Vampire State: And Other Myths and Fallacies About the U.S. Economy

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ISBN 10:  1565841948 ISBN 13:  9781565841949
Publisher: The New Press, 1997
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