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International Socialism, Summer 1965


Frat Cain

Dr K’s Prescriptions


From International Socialism, No.21, Summer 1965, p.30.
Transcribed & marked up by by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


Essays on Economic Policy (2 vols)
Nicholas Kaldor
Duckworth, 50s each

Planning and Economic Grown
A.K. Das-Gupta
Allen & Unwin, 25s.

Kaldor’s record for successful trouble-shooting is a good one: fifteen years after proposing an incomes policy to a Labour Chancellor (Vol.I, Chapter 5), it has become the crux of the Labour Government’s programme; six years after proposing long-term wage contracts to slow down wage increases (Vol.I, Chapter 8), they have become the norm in many trade-union headquarters. It is conceivable that his proposals for an International Commodity Reserve Currency foreshadow one of the most important rationalisations in the structure of international capitalism.

These two volumes of essays – some of which are iron rations for specialists, and some easily assimilated by the lay reader – cover a full range of economic problems. They are pragmatic, informed and perceptive. For readers of this journal they represent the Establishment at its most sophisticated and at its most difficult to answer, not least because they form the most radical wing of economic orthodoxy.

It is difficult to understand why Professor Das-Gupta’s essays of the last decade or so have been brought together from the journals – mainly the Economic Weekly of Bombay – that first published them. In their time they served to illuminate current problems in the light of received doctrine. But most of the problems have since lost their currency and the doctrine itself is less than blinding.

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