Lester Thurow’s The Zero-Sum Society (Basic Books, 1982) provoked a storm of protest from liberals and leftists who charged that Thurow’s emphasis on the need for economic growth represented an abandonment of concern for working people and the poor. Apparently Thurow listened to his critics, for his new book, The Zero-Sum Solution, demonstrates conclusively that liberalism can produce innovative and comprehensive proposals for economic growth with social justice.
Thurow’s program aims to produce a better coordination of America’s social institutions. His proposals include substantial tax reform to channel investment into productivity enhancement; reducing corporate emphasis on short-term profit; boosting public and private investment and saving; federal support of industrial research and development; public investment banking to fund new industries and restructure sick ones; increased funding for better public schools; social planning through industrial policy-making; overhauling the bank regulatory system; worker participation in corporate decision-making; international coordination of exchange rates; reform of trade laws and of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade; and defusing the Latin American debt bomb....
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