Duesenberry Criticizes Ford Proposals

Ec Dept. Chairman Speaks

Professor James S. Duesenberry, chairman of the Economics Department, last night criticized President Ford's new economic program for its lack of vigor.

Speaking at the Cambridge Forum, Duesenberry said that although the administration is "moving in the right direction" in its battle against inflation, President Ford's newest proposals will have a "neutral effect" on the economy.

President Ford said yesterday he hoped that if Congress and the American people agree to the terms of his proposed economic program there will be "some meaningful reduction" in the rate of inflation by early 1975.

In his third press conference since taking office, the president said, "I do not think the United States is in a recession. We do have economic problems, but it is a very mixed situation."

Duesenberry said the United States faces a unique problem of simultaneous recession and the worst peace-time inflation in history. Even if a vigorous program to produce renewed economic expansion, reduce unemployment and ease the money supply were implemented now, high unemployment and inflation would continue for three years, he said.


Duesenberry said President Ford's speech Monday night indicates that the administration no longer thinks of America's economic ills as a case of "classic inflation when too much money is chasing too few goods." But he indicated that Ford's latest proposals will have very little net effect on total expenditure, demand and employment.

Straight A's

"The administration could learn a couple of more lessons before they get an 'A' in their course," Duesenberry added.

Besides discussing the economic aspects of inflation, Duesenberry also told the forum that inflation is a social phenomenon with largely social costs. The equitable distribution of inflation's costs depends on the quality of political "followership," Duesenberry said.

Duesenberry spoke on the topic of "What's Ahead for the Economy" at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Harvard Square.

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