By C. R. Rao
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Additional resources for Essays on Econometrics and Planning
An income policy, to be successful, must include a policy on profits, and (unless social ownership is expanded far more than now seems likely) this can only be accomplished if a large part of public investment (which in any case would have to increase to assure better social balance) would be financed out of current revenue, mainly falling on the well-to-do. The alternative, as in Germany and Japan, is a violent distribution of income in favour of profits, a process which is not compatible with full employment in a framework of well-organised labour relations.
In all these matters, therefore, a co-ordination of investment decisions, a reduction of the risk involved in being prematurely expansionist, might pay handsome dividends. Planning, in the sense of indicative planning, thus is justified on the score of the weakening of the automatic co-ordinating system of the price mechanism. 2 This can b3—and has been—offset, and more t h a n offset, by failure in planning and bottlenecks in supplies. The hoarding of components was notorious and still remains one of the main handicaps to efficiency in the Soviet system.
Political assumptions. On the other hand, and culminating in Professor Galbraith's book The Affluent Society, the assumption t h a t wants were given was questioned. They could be created and modified. This conclusion had momentous consequences. If some systems create more wants than others, how is their relative merit to be judged? Even if one was more ''productive" than the other, in the sense of producing a greater real output valued at some system of prices, it might involve a net dissatisfaction, disutility, inasmuch as it might create more wants t h a n it was able to satisfy relative to a less " dynamic" system.
Essays on Econometrics and Planning by C. R. Rao