An analysis of the implementation and effect of early industrial policies in the United States
Brister, Gary L.
Terasawa, Katsuaki L.
Gates, William R.
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This thesis provides a brief historical overview of federal policies designed to promote the expansion or economic viability of certain industries. Federal railroad, irrigation, and tariff policies are then explored in greater detail to determine their effect on both the target industry and the economy as a whole. The outcome of this study can assist in determining the desirability of an expanded role by the Federal Government, and specifically the Department of Defense (DOD) through the Advanced Research Project Agency (ARPA), into a more broad based industrial policy. The past and present federal policies dealing with the railroads, irrigation, and tariffs have all failed to make any of the target industries financially self sustaining. These have instead created a number of bureaucratic bodies designed to service the needs of their respective industries. The aggregate costs of these programs far exceed any imagined benefit. To adopt similar policies within DOD in order to target specific industries for the promotion of economic rather than national security concerns could only prove detrimental to both.
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