By Harry G. Shaffer
This booklet is a superb creation to capitalism for the lay reader. Shaffer's kind is very readable, funny and nentertaining. He covers a vast diversity of issues, elevating provocative questions about how concerned govt might be in such things as health and wellbeing care and schooling.
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Extra info for American Capitalism and the Changing Role of Government
In capitalist societies, on the other hand, the opposite seems to be the case. Periods when goods are in short supply are often periods of prosperity; and depressions usually set in when there are ‘‘too many’’ goods available. In the United States, we experienced our greatest prosperity, up to that time, during the days of World War II. Unemployment was minimal then, young men served in the armed forces while others worked overtime or held two jobs, women entered the labor force in numbers larger than ever before, and few families complained about not earning enough.
Throughout their histories, all capitalist countries without exception have been plagued by the continuous succession of periods of recession, depression, recovery, prosperity, recession, depression—and so on in perpetual, unending economic cycles. Does all this mean that such business cycles are characteristic of capitalist societies and of capitalist societies alone? Indeed, this is precisely what is meant here. But, to be sure, that certainly could not and does not imply that living standards of average citizens are therefore higher under other economic systems.
When such a situation occurred, as indeed it often did, the planning authorities would have investigated whether the inability to cover costs was due to inefficiency and, if so, they would have tried to remedy the situation. If this involved the replacement of workers by machines, the workers would have been retrained at the company’s (read: the state’s) expense, without a day’s loss of pay, until they could start their new jobs. If the reason for the failure to operate profitably lay elsewhere (say, for instance, increasing cost of raw materials or fuels), and if the planners did not choose to raise consumer prices or shift capital elsewhere, the enterprise would probably have been given government subsidies or a bank loan.
American Capitalism and the Changing Role of Government by Harry G. Shaffer