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Full text of "Man In The Modern World"

THE TECHNIQUE OF DEMOCRATIC PLANNING
Federal Funds, with which it has an over-all agreement embodied
in a " Memorandum of Understanding." Thus the TVA might give
funds for some special job for testing new phosphatic fertilizers manu-
factured in its great fertilizer plant at Muscle Shoals. If so, the Land
Grant Colleges would carry out the tests and appoint the personnel,
who would, however, have to be approved by the TVA's personnel
department. Once adequate tests have been made, practical demon-
strations are needed; for these, the TVA has entered upon similar
agreements with the Agricultural Extension Services operating under
the same Colleges.
The same sort of thing has occurred with regard to Wild Life Con-
servation. The TVA here operates under a formal agreement with
the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries, the U.S. Biological Survey, and the
Conservation Commissions of the various States in the Valley, and in
informal co-operation with the State Universities and many local
agencies.
Here is another example from quite a different field. As the result
of one of the big dams, the little country town of Guntersville was
left on the end of a long narrow peninsula jutting out into a lake.
The TVA suggested that the town should set up its own City Plan-
ning Commission. It contributed funds to the Alabama State Plan-
ning Commission to pay for the services of planning consultants arid
a resident planning engineer, and has itself furnished much technical
advice. By these means the invading water which threatened disaster
was turned to advantage. The town was replanned so as to provide
docks and facilities for fishing and pleasure-boating. As a result it
has become both an important tourist and recreation centre (the
local regattas now attract gatherings of 50,000 or more) and a point
of trans-shipment for the increasing volume of water-borne goods now
finding their way up the Tennessee River, on which navigation was
previously almost non-existent.
Here and in many other fields the success of the TVA depends on
having a sufficient staff of experts of first-class calibre who can be
detailed to help in local problems in the field. But in all cases they
help the local community to help itself. They do not impose their
own plans, but they catalyse planning jointly with others.
The way in which central planning may be used not to suppress
but to stimulate private initiative is illustrated by TVA's action over
electrical and agricultural appliances. The big combines and other
agricultural machines so essential on the Middle Western prairies
would be useless, as well as too expensive, for the small and hilly
farms of the Valley. The TVA accordingly set itself to design equip-
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