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Effect of the TVA on the Working Poor of the Tennesee River - Research Paper Example

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The Effect of the TVA on the Working Poor of the Tennessee River Valley Introduction The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) was developed in response to the Tennessee Valley Authority Act which was signed in 1933. The act was designed to provide a number of benefits to the area of Tennessee valley, including the planning of reforestation, assistance in development, improving navigation along the river as well as other aims…
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Effect of the TVA on the Working Poor of the Tennesee River
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Download file to see previous pages The company is unique as it is an government owned generator of electricity (Tennessee Valley Authority 2011). Many people of the area can be termed working poor. These people and families work at least part of the year, making an income that is barely enough to survive on. Often they end up living from one pay check to the next, with a poor quality of life. The creation of TVA was not without controversy and its history shows several changes in styles, ideas and approaches, this is impacted the way that they act as a government agency, how they provide and help the people of the region and their strength as an electricity provider. Creation and Controversies Tennessee Valley Authority was created with a number of different aims in mind, and many of these were not easily accepted by the public. One of the most important factors is that the TVA is a government institution, yet operates in a market that many consider to be private only (Hargrove 1994). One key issue surrounding power generation and distribution in the 1930s was the access of rural dwellers to electricity. Around 90% of urban dwelling households had power, but only ten percent of those in rural areas did. This was largely due to the cost involved in establishing the electric lines to the isolated farmhouses. The government determined that it was their role, through TVA, to bring power to the rural community as the private power companies were not doing so. This decision was met with significant opposition, with groups believing that the government did not have the authority to compete with private business, that members of the government should not interfere with the economy, and in some cases simply that farmers had insufficient skills to play their part (New Deal 2003). The initial period, from 1933 to 1945 was one that was productive for both the company and the individuals of the region. David Lilienthal, one of the three TVA directors, became the centerpiece for the company during this period, and sold the idea of electricity to the families in the valley. In particular, he focused on the idea of a grass roots community, where there was cooperation between TVA, the community and the government. This resulted in the creation of many rural distributers of TVA power. However, this sense of purpose for the company did not last, and in 1945 the company entered a second period which ran to 1970. The company had grown significantly and was now a large energy company, and the interest in regional growth and development waned. Instead programs focused on other initiatives, such as the production of fertilizer for industry, rather than the farms of the area and the provision of power to many locations external to the valley. In the period of 1970 to 1988 there were attempts to revive the company’s image but these met with failure (Hargrove 1994). Currently, TVA remains a government owned generator of electricity, providing electricity for nine million people. The fact that TVA is not a private company means that it is able to offer cheaper electricity than other providers. This is accomplished by using the money generated by the business to run it, and pricing power for what is required to run the agency, not to turn a certain profit. In August of 2010, the company announced a renewed vision to help focus the Tennessee Valley region, and the nation in general ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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