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Galbraith on U.S. Economy

January 23, 1991

Galbraith knows very well that deregulation, Reaganomics and lower taxes are not equivalent to laissez-faire philosophy. Pointing to Presidents Reagan and Bush as champions of the free enterprise system would be like calling Adam Smith a champion of socialism. Galbraith knows that all coercive legislation, whether from the left or right, has long-range effects, which may take decades to evolve. He also knows that the problems he enumerated in his column are not solely caused by the activities of Reagan and Bush.

The problems are the result of a long chain reaction of statist programs enacted from 50 to 100 years ago, and continuing in the present. I am not defending Reagan or Bush, nor am I a supporter of any statist legislation. I am defending free enterprise for which Galbraith seems to have disdain.

I must quote John Maynard Keynes, who when asked about the long-range effects of his statist programs replied, "in the long run we are all dead." Galbraith's legitimate complaints about our social problems are, as Keynes predicted, the death throes of those very programs of which Galbraith has approved.

NORMAN H. IMBERMAN

Torrance

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