I was impressed by Bob Kuttner’s article, “Jobs,” in the Winter 1984 Dissent. I was struck by the boldness and simplicity of the “procurement” approach to full employment and economic growth. Pointing first to the experience of World War II—when, through government procurement contracts, not only the military but the civilian economy as well received an unprecedented growth stimulus—Kuttner provokes the reader into imagining what could be done if useful goods were produced by such a method instead of tanks and bombs. He also suggests that the government did not do all that bad a job coordinating the effort, and that the high rates of spending, and the nagging inefficiencies, were more than amply compensated by the fantastic rates of economic development attained....
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