American Capitalism; The Concept of Countervailing Power

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9781614273257: American Capitalism; The Concept of Countervailing Power

2012 Reprint of 1952 Edition. Exact facsimile of the original edition, not reproduced with Optical Recognition Software. This is an economics book intended for all literate Americans, but its boldness and penetration and the originality of its central thesis are so marked that it was destined to become a landmark for the professional economist and general public alike. Galbraith highlights the role of "Countervailing Power" in dealing with market failure and outlines its operation at the micro, and at the macro levels. At the micro level, firms might merge or band together to influence the price. Individual wage earners might also combine in unions to influence wage rates. Finally, government might intervene in the market place where required to provide regulation where countervailing power failed to develop but was nevertheless required. He concluded that Countervailing power was legitimate and welcome as the alternative of state control would be much less palatable to the business community. Without countervailing power, Galbraith concluded, private decisions could and presumably would lead to the unhampered exploitation of the public, or of workers, farmers and others who are intrinsically weak as individuals. Such decisions would be a proper object of state interference or would soon so become.

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