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The New International, March 1943


Reviews in Brief:

Finances and the War


From The New International, Vol. IX No. 3, March 1943, p. 93.
Marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


Fiscal Planning for Total War
by William L. Crum, John F. Fennelly and Lawrence H. Seltzer
Published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, 1819 Broadway, New York, N.Y. Index, 358 pages

The National Bureau of Economic Research is a bourgeois organization devoted to a study of economic problems and trends in the United States. It has a competent staff of professionals and researchers in its employ, and its board of directors includes representatives of some of the largest corporations in the country, as well as a representative of the CIO. Additional directors (by appointment) represent some of the leading colleges and universities. The organization has done a considerable amount of important work on American economic and social life – all of it proceeding from the “solid” foundation of bourgeois economy and the interests of capitalism. Its material is, nevertheless, interesting and informative; its contributors competent technicians.

This study is the product of the work of about twenty persons, members of the directing committee, researchers and special consultants. While many books have been published dealing with the question of finance and its mobilization for war, few have the competence of this volume, despite its heavily technical character, in posing the problems of capitalist economy faced with total war.

The book takes you through the problems of production, the decline in the production of consumer goods, the rise of new industries, and the increasing weight of war industries. It deals with the problems of the relation of government to business and the financing of the war by the state. Having stated the problem of the war, the magnitude of production and costs, the book proceeds to discuss the multiple financial problems arising out of a war budget of more than two hundred billion dollars and the means by which this tremendous financial outlay is to be met.

It discusses the problem of production, income and expenditures for the war, the specific rôle of finance, controls, and the vast subject of taxation, corporation, income, direct and indirect, and the more recent proposals of tax collection at source.

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