By W. G. VOLLMER
President, Texas and Pacific Railway
Mr. Vollmer, associated with thi
railroad industry since 1902, has bet*
president of Texas and Pacific Rai'
way Company since 1945. Amott
other activities, he is a director an*
i-ice-president of the Community Che'
and Councils of America, Inc. He ha*
won wide recognition for his coif
pany's institutional type of atlterU1'
ing. stressing the highest ideals of '"
American way of life.
The concept of national economic
planning for the people's welfare had its inception in the
twenties, long before World War II or
the Korean conflict. Since that time, it
has gained steadily in strength, in
scope, and in adherents.
In the turbulent and tortuous history of nations, the principle of economic planning is nothing new. It is
the very keystone of communism, just
as it was of nazism and fascism.
When any government takes over
the peacetime planning of the economic affairs of its people, it becomes
also the high executioner of individual
freedom and opportunity.
In the drafting of the Constitution,
our Founding Fathers must have recognized the inherent evil of national
economic planning for they made no
provision for such governmental activities. As a matter of fact, main of them
fled their native countries to escape
the serfdom which such planning imposed.
In times of peace no economic plan
of the federal government is worth the
paper it i.s written on unless it is supported with the power of execution.
And the power of execution carries
with it the power to control individual
action and to destroy individual freedom.
A planned economy by a central
government means precisely what the
word "planned" implies.
It means that the federal government assumes the right of exercising
control over certain phases of the economic affairs of the people. Governmental officials and bureaucrats decide what they conceive to be good for
the people and then issue orders telling them what they can and cannot do.
Our farm program is a case in point.
The once rugged and independent
farmers have surrendered a considerable measure of their freedom of
action upon the altar of artificial security disguised as a "fair return" for
The farmers now plant whatever
crops the government decides upon.
And they also market their products in
a manner carefully prescribed and rigidly administered by the government.
The farm program is but one segment of our national economy which
has given way to national planning.
Numerous programs control in various ways the supply and the price of
lood. clothing and shelter, while controls of one form or another are exercised over employment and vv ages.
In times of peace if we accept tin-
principle that the federal government
possesses the right to plan any segment of our economic welfare, then
we must be prepared to relinquish the
right to individual freedom.
We cannot have both. Any disposition to temporize or compromise the
principles of freedom merely strengthens socialistic planning.
Every real American has within his
heart a sincere desire to see everyone
properly fed, clothed, sheltered, educated, employed at good wages, secure in his job, in his health, and in
his old age.
There is a wide difference of opinion, however, as to how all of these
tilings can be obtained. Some people
look to the government to provide
them. They expect the government to
produce an economic miracle.
It cannot be done that way. The
government itself produces nothing. It
is the people who produce the gi'<"
and services that make life rich6!
more comfortable, and more enjo)
The only way to provide more thing
for more people is for the pcop1
themselves to produce more. Thc si"11'
tion thus rests with the people, not ''*
In times of peace the national pk"1,
ners of our nation have supported "'"
advocated the principle that the '-1"
eminent, when vested with the po*
to distribute income and productive
can bring about an improvement '
the material welfare of all the peOP
°f the lit
•"g to il
is economic nonsense,
more the government provides, "
more it impoverishes the pcop
through increased taxation.
Government Must Take
It is the belief of those who ^
subscribe to our constitutional del",
craey, and thus often are accused '
being reactionaries, that it i.s the «
sponsibility and the right of the
vidua! to produce according to
capacity and to consume or dispOw|
what he produces according to
own judgment, provided he resp
the similar rights of others.
The Constitution does not say
the federal government, acting i"
capacity of an economic planner, s'''1
promote the welfare of one perse"
the expense of another. .,,
Nor does the Constitution ProVlw
that the federal government has
power to capture through taxation
portion of a person's income and '
distribute it, in the form of gran'*'
aid, to others.
A government which promotes •
practices in times of peace, thr0*1'
Facts Foiu vi News, September,