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How Local Politics Shape Federal PolicyBusiness, Power, and the Environment in Twentieth-Century Los Angeles$
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Sarah S. Elkind

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780807834893

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807869116_elkind

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Conclusion Small Government and Big Business in the Mid-Twentieth Century

Conclusion Small Government and Big Business in the Mid-Twentieth Century

(p.178) Conclusion Small Government and Big Business in the Mid-Twentieth Century
How Local Politics Shape Federal Policy

Sarah S. Elkind

University of North Carolina Press

This book concludes by discussing the reasons why the recommendations of the President's Water Resources Policy Commission (PWRPC) of 1950 languished. Among the reasons was the fact that implementing river basin planning required Congress members who held the power to approve federal river projects to surrender this authority to an independent river basin commission. Congress had little incentive to make changes of this magnitude in the absence of widespread public demands. Such demands never appeared. If news coverage reflected as well as shaped public opinion on this matter, the PWRPC's proposals were widely perceived as a federal power grab, a threat to private and local initiative, and a flirtation with socialism. Behind the red-baiting rhetoric lay a deeper truth about American politics: localism.

Keywords:   localism, river basin planning, river basin commission, PWRPC

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