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Striking a Balance

Making National Economic Policy

The language of economic policy is as familiar as the daily newspaper—tax cuts, the prime rate, monetarism, deregulation, the balance of payments—but how well do we understand it? Too often, the reasoning and the difficult choices that lead to economic policies are hidden from nonexperts in a fog of statistics and jargon.

Striking a Balance sets forth in clear, nontechnical language the principal goals of national economic policy, the instruments used to achieve these goals, and the political and economic problems arising from conflicting goals and the choice of inappropriate instruments. It is written not for economics students but for the general public and for students in the related fields of public policy, journalism, and law. Unlike economics textbooks, it is not organized according to theoretical categories such as supply and demand, but around issues such as full employment and inflation. It has no ideological axe to grind and tries to present different views of controversial issues fairly.

Striking a Balance benefits from the wisdom and experience of a mature economist. Albert Rees achieves the rare feat of explicating complex issues without oversimplification or trivialization.

128 pages | 5.25 x 8.50 | © 1984

Economics and Business: Economics--Government Finance

Table of Contents

Part I - The Goals of Policy
1. Full Employment
2. Stable Prices
3. Growth and Efficiency
4. Equality
5. Maintaining the Balance of Payments
6. Balancing the Goals
Part II - The Instruments of Policy
7. Taxing and Spending
8. Borrowing and Lending
9. Monetary Policy
10. Wage and Price Controls and Related Policies
11. Economic Regulation and Government Ownership of Industry
12. Trade Policy
Part III - The Policymaking Process
13. Institutional Arrangements
14. The Politics of Economic Policy

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