25 Years Ago | South China Morning Post
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  • Jan 31, 2015
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25 Years Ago

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 25 April, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 25 April, 1999, 12:00am

OMAHAR, NEBRASKA (April 25): PRESIDENT Nixon's 'economists have exactly the same relation to the economic policy as the Rev. Billy Graham does to sin: It's something you comment on but don't feel any responsibility for,' the Harvard economist, Professor John Galbraith said yesterday.


'The present Administration has no economic policy, no policy on wage controls, no policy on price controls or on employment,' Prof Galbraith said at a news conference.


'We don't really have any hope for anything better as long as we have this Administration and as long as Mr Nixon is spending 95 per cent of his time worrying about his own survival,' he added.


Prof Galbraith said several steps are needed to halt inflation, including a tight control of the money supply, a tight fiscal policy and wage and price controls. Prof Galbraith said it would be unwise to cut taxes in the present period of heavy inflation. He said that he was parting company with many of his fellow liberals in the Congress on that issue.


'I don't think you can reduce taxes with this kind of inflation,' Prof Galbraith said.


The economist's stand appeared to refer to tax reduction proposals introduced by Democratic Senators Edward Kennedy and Walter Mondale.


Senators Kennedy, Mondale and other Democratic Congressmen have been pushing for tax reduction as a way of providing greater spending power for consumers and bringing the economy out of its slow-down.


Prof Galbraith said that in order to understand the complexities of modern day product shortages, economists must overhaul the traditional theories about an economy responding to classic supply and demand situations.


The new economics, he said, must take in to account the 'planning system' of the large corporation as well as the 'market system' of the small entrepreneur. Both, he said, share equally in the nation's production of goods and services.


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