Lewis Corey was a pseudonym for Louis Fraida, one of the founders of the U.S. Communist Party. In a letter to Marcuse dated August 16, 1960, Raya Dunayevskaya replied at length to his request for references to the American literature dealing with the issues of “the transformation of the laboring class under the impact of rationalization, automation and particularly, the higher standard of living.” This was in connection with his research for One-Dimensional Man.
In her reply, Dunayevskaya briefly mentioned — and dismissed — Fraida/Corey’s The Decline of American Capitalism as “so-called Marxist” and “underconsumptionist”:
If you take the economists, you also have a choice of the flip side so that Louis M. Hacker now touts The Triumph of Capitalism and while everyone is ashamed of such past as The Decline of American Capitalism which, like all so-called Marxist books from Corey to that Stalinist apologist who passes for the Marxist authority (even Joseph Schumpeter’s monumental but quite lopsided or, as we say more appropriate in Jewish tsidreit [confused, distorted], work, History of Economic Analysis refers to him as such) Paul Sweezy are one and all underconsumptionist so that, whether you take the period of the 1930s when “all” were Marxists to one degree or another and some serious works were done, or you take now when nearly the only works against capitalism are issued by the Stalinists, there really is no genuine Marxist analysis of the American economy either historically, sociologically or as economic works.
I suspect Marcuse accepted Dunayevskaya’s evaluation and didn’t bother with The Decline of American Capitalism, which is unfortunate because Corey’s “so-called Marxist” critique of ‘progressive obsolescence’ may have led him away from Veblen-by-proxy moralism of the Vance Packard account of planned obsolescence and his own presentation of the evils of planned obsolescence as self-evident.