The Politics of Planning: A Review and Critique of Centralized Economic Planning

The Politics of Planning: A Review and Critique of Centralized Economic Planning

The Politics of Planning: A Review and Critique of Centralized Economic Planning

The Politics of Planning: A Review and Critique of Centralized Economic Planning

Excerpt

In the two years that have elapsed since the Arab oil boycott in the fall of 1973, mounting economic problems in the United States and abroad have increased public pressures for government intervention in the American economy. Several years of "stagflation," with rising rates of both inflation and unemployment, have encouraged many people to conclude that new conditions have anachronized the laws of economics and that nagging problems can only be brought under control by centralized economic planning.

In the wake of these increasing problems, in June 1975, the Initiative Committee for National Economic Planning, cochaired by United Auto Worker President Leonard Woodcock and Harvard economist Wassily Leontief, and bearing the names of many prominent academic, professional and business leaders, released a statement calling for the establishment of a national planning agency for the American economy. In the spring the principal recommendations of the Initiative Committee were drafted into The Balanced Growth and Economic Planning Act of 1975, introduced into the Senate under the cosponsorship of Senator Jacob Javits (R, N.Y.) and Hubert Humphrey (D, Minn.).

The Javits-Humphrey Bill is important of and for itself. If it passes, it will have fundamental implications for our entire economic and social life as a nation. But beyond the particular legislation, the Balanced Growth and Economic Planning Act of 1975 represents the culmination of a growing body of economic planning legislation which now touches most areas of our economic life.

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