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Understanding Economic Policy

The Problem with Wage and Price Controls: Lessons from the 1970s

Choose Economic Freedom: Enduring Policy Lessons from the 1970s and 1980s by George P. Shultz and John B. Taylor

What are the keys to good economic policy? George P. Shultz and John B. Taylor draw from their several decades of experience at the forefront of national economic policy making to show how market fundamentals beat politically popular government interventions—be they from Democrats or Republicans—as a recipe for success.

Choose Economic Freedom reconstructs debates from the 1960s and 1970s about the use of wage and price controls as tools of policy, showing how brilliant economists can hold diametrically opposed views about the wisdom of using government intervention to spur the economy. Speeches and documents from the era include a recently unearthed memo from Arthur Burns, Federal Reserve chair, in 1971, in which he argues in favor of controls.

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