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TitleThe Freedom Budget for All Americans as an Economic Plan
AuthorEnrico Beltramini
AbstractIn the second part of the sixties, A. Philip Randolph and Bayard Rustin envisioned an ambitious economic plan aimed primarily at eradicating poverty and joblessness for all Americans and significantly expanding the boundaries of Johnson’s Great Society. It never gained traction and by the end of the Johnson Presidency was relegated to the margins of historical memory. While the recent literature on the Freedom Budget has argued that the program was politically infeasible, this paper sustains that the Freedom Budget as a plan was economically infeasible. After a summary of the aims and content of the Great Society and the Freedom Budget, this paper determines that a main point of the program’s irrelevance lies to some degree in the implausibility of its economic assumptions and in the denial of any necessary economic trade-off.

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