Front Page Titles (by Subject) Government and Inflation: The McCracken Report - Literature of Liberty, July/September 1979, vol. 2, No. 3
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Government and Inflation: The McCracken Report - Leonard P. Liggio, Literature of Liberty, July/September 1979, vol. 2, No. 3 
Literature of Liberty: A Review of Contemporary Liberal Thought was published first by the Cato Institute (1978-1979) and later by the Institute for Humane Studies (1980-1982) under the editorial direction of Leonard P. Liggio.
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Government and Inflation: The McCracken Report
“Economics, Inflation, and the Role of the State: Political Implications of the McCracken Report.” World Politics 31 (October 1978): 108–128.
An analysis of the problems of inflation made in the report of an influential committee headed by Paul McCracken poses important issues for democratic government. In 1975 the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) sponsored a committee of eight prominent economists to consider “the recent serious deterioration of economic performance” in the advanced capitalist countries. Their report, Towards Full Employment and Price Stability can be viewed in three dimensions: (1) as explanatory theory; (2) as policy science; and (3) as a set of largely implicit recommendations for political arrangements compatible with modern capitalism.
The main defect of the McCracken Report as an explanatory theory is that it attributes the main economic phenomena it considers to causes which it fails to define adequately. Inflation in recent years, it claims, has to a large extent been caused by political factors. Among these are increases in popular expectations, the development of inflationary expectations, increased union militance, and the growing dependence of the U.S. economy on the international situation. Similarly, the causes of recession, such as a diminished level of public confidence, have a political origin. Yet the authors of the McCracken Report fail to analyze these political causes with sufficient care.
The report's approach to policy science is also questionable. It advocates steady growth, on the grounds that a democratic capitalistic economy cannot endure the inflationary pressures of growth at more extensive rates. This recommendation presupposes that the continuation of capitalism is desirable. This, however, is an ideological assumption which the authors of the McCracken Report ought to have defended explicitly. So far as the report's recommendations for policy are concerned, the authors give no reasons for believing that their slow growth policy has a reasonable chance of being adopted.
Concepts of Liberty
Controversy reigns as to the nature, history, and morality of liberty. This set of summaries ranges over a wide diversity of concepts of liberty as analyzed from the perspectives of philosophy, law, history, political philosophy, and psychology. Such interdisciplinary approaches illuminate the relationship of liberty to rights, utilitarianism, individualism, legal doctrines, marriage, women's and children's status. In addition, in these summaries relating to liberty, we witness the dissenting voices of such thinkers in the liberal tradition as Locke, Coke, the American Revolutionaries, Sismondi, Mill, Thoreau, and Szasz, No less illuminating in refining our analysis of freedom are the several non-liberal voices which serve as a counterpoint in the following summaries.