The Public Interest

The Professionalization of Reform

Daniel P. Moynihan

Fall 1965

Our best hope for the future lies in the extension to social organization of the methods that we already employ in our most progressive fields of effort. In science and in industry ... we do not wait for catastrophe to force new ways upon us... We rely, and with success, upon quantitative analysis to point the way; and we advance because we are constantly improving and applying such analysis.”


The passage above, as succinct a case for social planning as could be made, is not a product of either the thought or the institutions of the liberal-left. It is, rather, a statement by the late mathematical economist Wesley C. Mitchell. And it has recently been approvingly reprinted at the beginning of a report on “The Concept of Poverty” published by – the Chamber of Commerce of the United States.

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