Key to Economic Progress
Ballantine Books, 1958

In this slim volume, Kousoulas described the workings of the American economic system primarily for foreign readers at a time when misconceptions about the economic system of the United States were rampant throughout the world. The book highlighted the essentials of a mass producing economy and was written in a style suitable for non-specialists in foreign countries. To disprove the image of an exploitative system, the author focused on the close relationship of Mass Production, Mass Consumption and Mass Purchasing Power, which he presented in the form of a triangle. The three sides of the triangle need to be in relative balance because if any one component is out of relative balance with the other two, the economy faces serious problems.
If mass production exceeds mass purchasing power, i.e. the monetary ability of the consumers to absorb the products produced, a dangerous increase of unsold inventories leads to economic problems manifested by what we see as “economic cycles.” If monetary policies increase the supply of disposable money or credit without a commensurate increase in production, the familiar result is inflation. In the United States it has been a constant effort to keep the three sides of the triangle in relative balance thereby reducing the extent and violence of the economic cycles.

The book was translated and published in 27 languages, and sold more than a quarter million copies throughout the world between 1958 and 1970. The book contributed to a better understanding of the workings of the American economy and to the removal of misconceptions popular in many countries during the Cold War years.