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Page 1

OVER 3.5 MILLION COPIES' OF GALBRAITH'S BOOK^iN PRINT

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Page 2

ECONOMICS
AND THE

PUBLIC PURPOSE

by

Jotm Kenneth Galbraith

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A SIGNET BOOK

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TirviES Mirenon

Page 166

156 The Planning System

It is also an association that is uniquely available to the
organization. An individual cannot effectively influence an
organization; no single person can persuade, or bribe, the
Pentagon on a major weapons contract, for, given the
number of participants, such bribery would have to be by,
and of, a battalion. Organization, by contrast, relates ef-
fectively to organization. The various specialists of the pri-
vate bureaucracy work readily with their opposite num-
bers in the public bureaucracy pooling information for a
jointly achieved decision. And, as earlier noted, rarely
does the private technostructure meet a public bureauc-
racy without discovering some area in which there can be
cooperation to mutual advantage. This is true even where
the technostructure and the public bureaucracy are in a
nominally adversary position.

Public regulatory bodies, it has long been observed, tend

to become the captives of the firms that ostensibly they
regulate. This is because the rewards of cooperation be-

tween the technostructure and the regulatory agencies nor-
mally outweigh those of conflict. The compliant regulatory
body accedes to the needs of the technostructure; the lat-
ter supports or, in any case, does not oppose, the contin-
ued existence and needed budget expansion of the regula-
tory body. The aggresive regulatory authority, by contrast,
invites public scrutiny of its needs. And, since its conflict is
with the technostructure, it will be widely regarded as

being in conflict with sound public policy. When it ques-
tions actions of the technostructure—the safety or quality
of its products, the truth of its advertising—it is interfer-
ing with the natural prerogatives of private enterprise or

hampering the growth of those innovations which, being
the goals of the technostructure, are the foundations of

sound public policy. Acquiescence, even if it risks criticism
for being useless, may be better bureaucratic policy.

As the public bureaucracy has gained power in relation to
the legislature, the latter has reacted to its own decline.
The predictable reaction is protest and an effort to recap-
ture lost authority. This has occurred. It is not necessarily

the most powerful response. An appealing alternative for
many legislators is to become allies of the public bureauc-
racy and thus, by association, to acquire some of its

Page 167

The Sources of Public Policy: A Summary 157

power. This has been the spectacularly successful choice of

members of the Armed Services and Appropriations Com-
mittees. They derive power in Congress, patronage, public
construction and weapons contracts for their constituen-

cies and prestige in the community at large by identifying
themselves fully with the interests of the military bureauc-

racies of which nominally they are the watchdogs. In

doing so, they help ensure appropriate legislative action on
the symbiotic needs of the planning system and the public

bureaucracy. The legislative endorsement being in the
name of the public, this also proclaims to the innocent the
identification of interest between the planning system and

the public.

A final source of political power for the planning sys-
tem is organized labor. When there was conflict over the
division of return, the antithesis between labor and capital

was sharp. This, in turn, was reflected in political and leg-
islative conflict. And for reasons deeply grounded in histor-
ical attitudes many people identified the public interest
with the needs of the unions—with the toiling masses
rather than the capitalist classes. In recent times, as we
have seen, the conflict between labor and capital has been

greatly eased by the ability of the technostructure to
resolve conflict by conceding wage and other demands to
the unions and passing the costs along in the price. This in
turn makes possible a measure of psychic identification of
the employee with the technostructure. The latter is no
longer the implacable class enemy. At the same time the
affirmative goals of the technostructure have become con-
sonant with those of the union. A high rate of growth,
which means steady employment, extensive access to over-
time, perhaps even promotion, rewards the working force
as well as the technostructure. So, accordingly, does the

demand for goods that sustains such growth. This is pow-
erfully true of government orders.

In the United States large defense budgets, a foreign
policy that occasions such budgets, subsidized development
of technology such as the supersonic transport, aid to tem-
porarily ailing technostructures such as that of the Lock-
heed Corporation have in recent years had strong union
support. This has been taken to be an aberration on the
part of the leadership—the error of aged or obsolete men.
This is unfair. It, in fact, reflects an exact assessment of
the economic interest of the workers directly affected. The

Page 331

Index 321

312; as mstniment for equaliz-
ing income, 256, 260-61; rules
governing administration o^
302-5

Waugh, Evelyn, 60
Ways and Means Committee, 238
Weapons firms: contracts, 121-

22; and bureaucratic symbiosis,
138-41; role of technical inno-
vation in, 148-49; and use of
persuasion, 202; need for sodal-
ization of, 272-74

Westinghouse Electric Corpora-
tion, 113

Women: crypto-servant role of,
31-37, 55-56, 57-58; need for
change of role, 226-27; reforms
necessary to emancipate, 227-
30; educational opportunities,

229-30; and job opportimities,
228-29; and the arts, 230-31.
See also Convenient Social Vir-
tue

Page 332

WHY IS
EVERYTHING FALLING

APART?

What is behind runaway inflation?

Why are our factories producing more and more
of what we need less and less?

How is the government failing to do its job?

How is the exploitation of women an important factor in
maintaining the current economic status quo?

How are the cards stacked in favor of the "fat cats"?

What is the role of the military-industrial complex
in the present state of affairs?

Is there a chance for the small businessman or the

individual craftsman to survive?

And above all, what can we and must we do to change our
out-of-whack economic system before it destroys itself

and us?

These are just some of the questions

superbly dealt with in—

ECONOMICS & THE PUBLIC PURPOSE

The third and most important of Galbraith's major works,

bringing completely into focus his model of our modem
economic society.

"WITTYJRENCHANT, MTiH-DESTROYING..,
GALBRAITH IS AN IDEA WHOSE TIME HAS COME!"

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"CLEAR, READABLE, EXHILARATING,
IMPORTANT..A MASTERPIECE!"

-JOHN BARKHAM REVIEWS

"GALBRAITH IS GREAT!"
-WASHINGTON POST

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