School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 5-8 An idealized description of American capitalism. Short discussions of general economic concepts include supply and demand, money, banking, inflation, borrowing, markets and GNP. Government intervention in the form of regulation, public works, the Depression, New Deal and governmental attempts to manipulate the economy are also covered. Although Free Enterprise in America serves as a useful introduction to the topic, it is frequently too glib in its portrayal of capitalism in the U.S. The passage on competition discusses cost-cutting for the sake of efficiency with little concern for product quality; the efficiency of the assembly line is praised, but the laborers' boredom is cursorily passed over. Simplistic generalizations are also present: the decline of the U.S. auto industry is explained almost solely in terms of fuel economy and price; low salaries in education are seen as the result of reduced tax revenues. In failing to consider the faults of the profit motive, Lunt has produced an overly favorable view of capitalism that touts the consumers' multiplicity of choices and their power to determine manufacturers' and merchants' success but neglects such problems as created needs, wasteful duplication, planned obsolescence and so on. Jeffrey A. French, Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Lib .
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