The Economy: The High Stakes Of International Poker

The most arresting figures in President Nixon's address to Congress last week were his figures of speech—notably those touching on the relationship between America and its world trading partners. Alluding to the billions that the U.S. has sent to foreign countries in aid and investment since World War II, the President said: "We have generously passed out the chips. Now others can play on an equal basis." And in what has already become a famous declaration of intent, he added: "The time is past for the U.S. to compete with one hand tied behind its back."

Such rhetoric, with its unsettling overtones...

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