The Zero-Sum Society

In This Review

The Zero-Sum Society

By Lester C. Thurow
Basic Books, 1980
230 pp. $12.95

Productivity, energy, inflation, the environment, slow growth and government regulation are all subjected to fresh looks and shown to involve difficult questions of distribution. The difficulties become impossibilities if the zero-sum concept is applied to shares (and not just absolutes) in the light of the U.S. government's "inability to impose large economic losses explicitly" on any substantial group. Many views that are widely held in business and public opinion are demolished by a kind of documented iconoclasm that helps make this well-written book very stimulating.

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