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Speculations about the effects of politics on economic life have a long and vital tradition, but few efforts have been made to determine the precise relationship between them. Edward Tufte, a political scientist who covered the 1976 Presidential election for Newsweek, seeks to do just that. His sharp analyses and astute observations lead to an eye-opening view of the impac Speculations about the effects of politics on economic life have a long and vital tradition, but few efforts have been made to determine the precise relationship between them. Edward Tufte, a political scientist who covered the 1976 Presidential election for Newsweek, seeks to do just that. His sharp analyses and astute observations lead to an eye-opening view of the impact of political life on the national economy of America and other capitalist democracies. The analysis demonstrates how politicians, political parties, and voters decide who gets what, when, and how in the economic arena. A nation's politics, it is argued, shape the most important aspects of economic life--inflation, unemployment, income redistribution, the growth of government, and the extent of central economic control. Both statistical data and case studies (based on interviews and Presidential documents) are brought to bear on four topics. They are: 1) the political manipulation of the economy in election years, 2) the new international electoral-economic cycle, 3) the decisive role of political leaders and parties in shaping macroeconomic outcomes, and 4) the response of the electorate to changing economic conditions. Finally, the book clarifies a central question in political economy: How can national economic policy be conducted in both a democratic and a competent fashion?-- "American Political Science Review"


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Speculations about the effects of politics on economic life have a long and vital tradition, but few efforts have been made to determine the precise relationship between them. Edward Tufte, a political scientist who covered the 1976 Presidential election for Newsweek, seeks to do just that. His sharp analyses and astute observations lead to an eye-opening view of the impac Speculations about the effects of politics on economic life have a long and vital tradition, but few efforts have been made to determine the precise relationship between them. Edward Tufte, a political scientist who covered the 1976 Presidential election for Newsweek, seeks to do just that. His sharp analyses and astute observations lead to an eye-opening view of the impact of political life on the national economy of America and other capitalist democracies. The analysis demonstrates how politicians, political parties, and voters decide who gets what, when, and how in the economic arena. A nation's politics, it is argued, shape the most important aspects of economic life--inflation, unemployment, income redistribution, the growth of government, and the extent of central economic control. Both statistical data and case studies (based on interviews and Presidential documents) are brought to bear on four topics. They are: 1) the political manipulation of the economy in election years, 2) the new international electoral-economic cycle, 3) the decisive role of political leaders and parties in shaping macroeconomic outcomes, and 4) the response of the electorate to changing economic conditions. Finally, the book clarifies a central question in political economy: How can national economic policy be conducted in both a democratic and a competent fashion?-- "American Political Science Review"

30 review for Political Control of the Economy

  1. 4 out of 5

    Steven Peterson

    The premise of this book is stated early on (Page ix): ". . .I seek to show how certain political variables determine macroeconomic outcomes in a systematic and predictable way. In particular, I provide evidence demonstrating the role of elections and political parties in deciding who gets what, when, and how in the political arena." He notes that the state of the economy has an effect on elections. He also provides some evidence that the party in power will work to "juice up" the economy in an The premise of this book is stated early on (Page ix): ". . .I seek to show how certain political variables determine macroeconomic outcomes in a systematic and predictable way. In particular, I provide evidence demonstrating the role of elections and political parties in deciding who gets what, when, and how in the political arena." He notes that the state of the economy has an effect on elections. He also provides some evidence that the party in power will work to "juice up" the economy in an election year. One story: Richard Nixon sending a personal note to all retirees about his administration having increased Social Security payments (coincidentally, the note arrived just before a presidential election, in October of 1972). A golden oldie that still has relevance today. . . .

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sean Rosenthal

    Interesting Quote: "President [Kennedy]...now agreed...on the need for a complete military withdrawal from Vietnam. 'But I can't do that until 1965, after I'm reelected,' Kennedy told Mansfield . . . 'In 1965, I'll be damned everywhere as a Communist appeaser. But I don't care. If I tried to pull out completely now, we would have another Joe McCarthy red scare on our hands, but I can do it after I'm reelected. So we had better make damned sure that I am reelected.'" -Kenneth O'Donnell, quoted by Interesting Quote: "President [Kennedy]...now agreed...on the need for a complete military withdrawal from Vietnam. 'But I can't do that until 1965, after I'm reelected,' Kennedy told Mansfield . . . 'In 1965, I'll be damned everywhere as a Communist appeaser. But I don't care. If I tried to pull out completely now, we would have another Joe McCarthy red scare on our hands, but I can do it after I'm reelected. So we had better make damned sure that I am reelected.'" -Kenneth O'Donnell, quoted by Edward Tufte, Political Control of the Economy

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sankarshan

  4. 5 out of 5

    Simon Riley

  5. 4 out of 5

    Michael

  6. 4 out of 5

    Erik

  7. 5 out of 5

    Chris

  8. 5 out of 5

    John

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jay Sethi

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jeffrey Howard

  11. 5 out of 5

    Haley

  12. 5 out of 5

    Victoria Kennedy

  13. 4 out of 5

    Natsu

  14. 4 out of 5

    Justin Myers

  15. 5 out of 5

    Patrick

  16. 4 out of 5

    Tom

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jade

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lalchand

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jen Swayze

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lakshman

  22. 4 out of 5

    Anthony Ambroselli

  23. 4 out of 5

    Arav Kann

  24. 4 out of 5

    Aehly

  25. 4 out of 5

    Bob Marovich

  26. 5 out of 5

    Robert Kulzick

  27. 5 out of 5

    John Ermer

  28. 4 out of 5

    Trashy Pit

  29. 5 out of 5

    John Jacob

  30. 5 out of 5

    Trevor Dobson

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