Perilous Panacea

Books like this one frighten the intelligent reader, while raising the hopes of the naive. By taxing demand deposits at 3 percent per year, Mr. Dahlberg promises to erase all the evils that have tortured this economy for decades. No more inflation, budget deficits, poverty, or unemployment Unfortunately, he is not the first to offer simple solutions to the highly complicated problems of political economy. He mentions Marx and Keynes as men who would have been almost right—had they only understood what he understands. 

For Marx, the solution of all problems was the ending of private ownership of the means of production. Today, half the world, with socialized means of production, lives in servitude. For Keynes, it was government-initiated economic activity (i.e., deficit spending and transfer-payment programs) that would mean the end of all recessions. Today, as all governments spend more than ever before, each recession seems far more severe than its predecessor. And now comes another revolutionary theory. Educated in engineering, Dahlberg adopts a mechanistic approach to economics. "Fortunately, it is ridiculously easy to remove major evils," he asserts and supports his contention with numerous graphic pictures. That the major evils of economics might be rooted in the vices and virtues of human nature never crosses his mind. 

The "spirochete," as he chooses to explain it in medical jargon,...

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