Tuesday 20 February 2018


A mixed economy has built the United States. Private/public partnership is concerned with all major issues for sustainability. This is found in energy, transportation, housing, agriculture,research, defense, financial stability, environmental safety, social security, education and health care.

We must build again on technological leadership, financial stability, and collective security. We must focus on community, on freedom, of common purposes and common values. The national purpose for electrical energy generation should become this generation’s major purpose. Although America is the world’s great energy consumer, among developed countries we are the best positioned to change, to reduce our own fossil-fuel use and help the world do likewise. We have the science, the technology, the engineering, and the educational capacity to take the lead.
What we do not have is the capacity to figure out, in advance, a coherent national strategy toward this goal, and for our Federal Government to advance such a strategy. We have no capacity to plan, and that is what we need most of all and now.
Without public planning, who is in charge? Lobbyists who represent the private planning of the great corporations? The public interest ceases to exist, and the public sector becomes nothing more than a trough at which private interests come to feed.
Planning is a process: thinking, coordination, action. What is the long-term national interest? What specific targets must be met? What is the best way to do it, and who plays what role?
To design a system, to put the pieces together, to identify the most promising lines of attack and take steps to achieve them: that is the planner’s role. Planning is not coercive, but it should focus on “privileged investments” that would not be subject to “pay-go” restrictions; but as long-term improvements. This must be properly funded by issuing long-term debt.
The planning process should thus parallel the budget process, superseding it in the areas of energy, infrastructure, technology, and environmental management. Dealing with the energy and climate problems will require direct public action and the cooperation of the private sector, which will be achieved with participation. This would have to be accomplished with some rapidity in our emergency situation in order to be achieved in an urgent time frame.

All of us can have work for our next generation, to provide a better living standard and leave the planet more or less intact. And in addition, we stand a chance, otherwise improbable, of persuading the rest of the world to keep our line of credit open.

Graham Kaye-Eddie
M.U.D. 11/10/08 416 words

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