Liberal Trade Winds

Robert Kuttner, The End of Laissez-Faire: National Purpose and the Global Economy After the Cold War (New York: Alfred A.

Issue: Fall 1991

Robert Kuttner, The End of Laissez-Faire: National Purpose and the Global Economy After the Cold War (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1991).  304 pp., $22.95.

Robert B. Reich, The Work of Nations: Preparing Ourselves for 21st Century Capitalism (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1991).  331 pp., $24.00.

It was always a mistake to think that in the wake of the collapse of the Marxist model, the Left would fold up its interventionist tent and steal away into the night.  It is probably no accident, for example, that global warming and "sustainable development" have suddenly become serious concerns in liberal salons.  Environmentalism, at least in its more extreme forms, provides excellent cover for those who distrust markets and would prefer to see a larger role for government.  Though protectionism, "industrial policy," and other forms of essentially autarkic behavior have fallen on hard times recently, they constitute a hardy species in American history.

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