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The conventional wisdom has it that a balanced budget is the height of economic rationality, that social security should be privatized, and that most adult welfare recipients could and should get jobs. All our social and economic problems, we are told, are due to too much government; if we only left the American free enterprise system alone, the free market would heal all that ails our society and lead to lasting prosperity. Challenging these widespread stereotypes and myths, this book starts with the fundamental theory underlying capitalist ideology, showing that even in theory an unfettered free market cannot deal effectively with the many needs of a modern economy. Then it proceeds to make the case for active government participation in such social areas as education, health care, Social Security, and the environment.