Front Page Titles (by Subject) Government Planning - Literature of Liberty, January/March 1978, vol. 1, No. 1
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Government Planning - Leonard P. Liggio, Literature of Liberty, January/March 1978, vol. 1, No. 1 
Literature of Liberty: A Review of Contemporary Liberal Thought was published first by the Cato Institute (1978-1979) and later by the Institute for Humane Studies (1980-1982) under the editorial direction of Leonard P. Liggio.
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“Corporate Planning versus Government Planning.” Public Interest (USA), 46 (1977): 59–72.
Advocates of national economic planning who equate corporate planning with government planning are misleading. One can recognize a fundamental distinction between members of a society forecasting and reacting to the future, on the one hand, and the government of that society trying to regulate or to control it, on the other. Further distinctions arise between the two types of planning. Usually a restricted group, notably the company's officers, employees, and shareholders feel the consequences of errors in corporate planning. However, everyone in the society, both in their roles as taxpayers and as consumers, suffers from errors in government planning. Also, the information and analysis of corporate planning, which typically focus on individual sectors of the economy, are far less formidable than government planning which, of necessity, must encompass the entire economy.
We can also study the historical record to evaluate the planning experience in private corporations. Surveys of the growth of corporate planning conclude that relatively few companies have in fact developed effective planning operations although many have tried in vain. Many of the same corporate constraints that have limited the success of business planning will also frustrate efforts to expand the scope and success of government planning. Thus, not only have advocates of national economic planning erred in equating corporate planning with government planning, they have also considerably overestimated the actual success of planning efforts within the private sphere.
Long-range planning efforts within private corporations have achieved very mixed results. But the government, with formal long-range planning systems, has experienced even more dismal results. In particular, when Lyndon Johnson introduced the Planning, Programming, and Budgeting System (PPBS) in 1965, some people hailed it as “a very new and very revolutionary” system. It soon proved abortive and subsequently the White House dismantled it. Given the government's failure to implement longrange planning with regard to its own activities, how can we reasonably expect it to plan the activities of an entire economy?
The crux of the national economic planning debate rests not on planning versus no planning but rather on who should plan: the government, or all the participants in the economic process?