Government and the Nation's Resources.
Government must bear much of the blame for the recent natural gas shortage and the raw materials and commodities shortages in 1973-1974. Aside from energy, any significant materials shortages the United States will experience in the next 25 years will result from short-run shocks that produce shifts in demand or supply exceeding the immediate adjustment capability of industry. A high proportion of these shifts will be traceable to government action. Recommendations: (1) Changes in government departments, particularly Interior and Commerce, to encourage the collection, processing, and regular publication of information on resources and commodities. (2) Establish within government departments the capability to do objective policy analysis to understand the impact of prospective government actions on economic sectors. (3) Within the Executive Office of the President create a unit to monitor key industries and sectors to analyze the effects of federal policies. (4) Adopt a meaningful form of multi-year budgeting to help foresee the impact of policy changes. (Talk presented to Town Hall of California, Los Angeles, March 15, 1977.) 21 pp.