Reply to Du Boff; Rejoinder by Du Boff; Reply to Albert Prago


  • Peter Bernstein
  • Robert Heilbroner
  • Carl Marzani
  • Richard B. Du Boff



Marxism, Political Economy


We write to reply to the singularly insensitive review by Richard Du Boff of our book The Debt and the Deficit (MR, December 1989). Our book begins from, and is addressed to, a single argument on which all stands or falls: that the deficit is ill understood, and for that reason constitutes a major barrier against effective social action in this country. Perhaps this is not the view of readers of the Monthly Review, who are not alarmed at the deficit; who understand the various ways of calculating its size; and who can explain its consequences. That being the case, we did not direct our argument against the issues that Monthly Review readers might wish stressed, or cite the kinds of authorities who might have impressed them. Instead we tried to speak to the great bulk of the American public, 44 percent of whom had declared in a poll taken shortly before we wrote that the deficit was the single gravest problem facing the United States, a sentiment still highly visible in the halls of Congress and in the grass roots of the countryside.

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