This is an important book to read. He wrote this book on the problem of Socialism and Central Planning during World War 2. Most of the examples come from Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, but some important examples come from Great Britain and the U.S. under FDR.
Central Planning is where the government sets up a panel that does not report to anybody on its action and has freedom to enforce its decrees without interference of the Legislative branch of government. An example of this was the Interstate Commerce Commission that could dictate Railroad and Truck Tariffs, until it was abolished by the Staggers act.
Examples of Central Planning in this country today is the Department of Education, who is dictating the Curriculum to all Public Schools and the EPA that is forcing undue costs of operations on all rail and road traffic, irregardless of the benefits. Of course with Central Planning goes announcements to reinforce their views on the people, some of it is pure propaganda.
Central planning forces the moral views of this person or board on the people - for example, Obamacare, look at how the morals expressed by Justice Sotomyer are being forced on the owners of Hobby Lobby.
A large percentage of Americans want/demand that the government take care of them, even at the cost of their freedoms. And it's a natural inclination of all governments to grow their power over their constituency and to put their citizens on the government plantation.
Unfortunately, once you cede powers to the government, it's almost impossible to get them back. Those that are receiving government freebies, at the expense of other taxpayers, feel they have become rights, not freebies.
But it is the American people who are demanding more and more government services, bigger and bigger government, and less personal responsibility.
Obama and the Democrats pretty much swept the women's and the youth vote. These two blocs put them over the top and I believe the 'big government' Democrats are in power for quite some time to come.
But the joke will be on the women, their children, and the youth of today. They will foot the cost of the big government deficits. The cost of this monolithic government will come out of the properity of their futures. Just wait until the interest rates begin rising on the 16 trillion+ debt begins to rise, or if foreign countries begin to call in their debts. There will be no money for programs for the next generation. So be it, that's the path they chose.
I prefer Keynes:
"Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slave so some defunct economist. Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back. . ."
So you read a book. One by Freidrich Hayek. It is a good book, and one that does seem to be driving many of the voices in the air these days. Just make sure you read another one. Have I mentioned Keynes? He wrote some books on economics too.
BTW, setting tariffs is much different than central planning. And the Interstate Railroad Commission did have to answer to the courts, and to the Congress--ultimately to the Constitution and to the People. As you noted, it was abolished as it was created--through legislation passed by duly elected representatives in the House & Senate, signed into law by the President.
Ricky - I do not know what happened to the response that I posted yesterday. No, I have not read Keynes, please give the title of which book to read first. I studied using Samuelson's book years ago and bought a recent USED copy of the updated text.and found that he has adopted the Keynesian principles of the bleeding heart liberals.
I found an interesting paper on Hayek by Kenneth Elzinga titled "Christianity and Hayek" that is worth reading.
As for the Interstate Commerce Coimmission, I found this in Wikipedia:
"The Transportation Act of 1958 gave the ICC jurisdiction over passenger train discontinuances, previously under the authority of the state commissions (state authorities had allowed discontinuance of through trains with states, e.g. allowing a New York-Chicago train to be discontinued within Ohio). The ICC earned a reputation for capriciousness in the matter of passenger-train discontinuances. This was illustrated when the ICC denied the Milwaukee Road's petition to drop a coach-only Chicago-Minneapolis local service on a route that had three other trains, yet it permitted the discontinuance of Chicago and Eastern Illinois Railroad's well-patronized Georgian-Humming Bird. It was the last passenger train on the Chicago-Danville-Terre Haute-Evansville run, and it was far less a local train than it was a north end of Chicago-Atlanta and Chicago-Mobile service operated jointly by the Louisville and Nashville Railroad.
In the matter of mergers, the ICC functioned at a glacial pace. Proceedings in connection with the proposed merger of the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad (Rock Island) and Union Pacific Railroad (UP) dragged on for ten years, during which time the Rock Island fell apart and ceased to be the desirable merger partner that UP had courted. Railroad historian George Drury commented that some of the blame was laid on the other railroads. The usual reaction of a railroad company upon learning of a proposed merger between two of its competitors is not "We're good enough to give them a run for their money even if they merge" but rather "They'll run us out of business."
Over-regulation of railroads reached the point that the ICC could (and did) require railroads to continue operations that lost money: essentially depriving the railroads of property without due process. In 1962, President John F. Kennedy delivered a message on transportation to Congress in which he criticized the regulatory structure, which resulted in successor Lyndon B. Johnson establishing the federal United States Department of Transportation (DOT) in 1966. The DOT was to develop and coordinate policies that would encourage a national transportation system. Some rate-making and regulatory functions remained with the ICC, however. The Federal Railroad Administration would be born out of the DOT, for the sole purpose of dealing with railroad affairs, with a focus on safety."
There has been a discussion going on in a railfan blog about which railroads of 20+ class 1 railroads in the ICC days were consistently profitable. It was probably, just 2 or 3, like the Santa Fe, the Southern Pacific and Union Pacific. Now the 5 remaining INDEPENDENTS (UP, NS, CSX, KCS, CN) are profitable.
That's the best you can do ? How can you comment meaningly if you havn't read the book? This seems to be true of all liberals. Don't research history, just get angry and bloviate at someone who says the earth isn't flat. Too bad .