Centrally planned economies have failed. Centralized national economies structurally lead to shortages in every sector. The combination of detailed central production and resource allocation plans result in permanent and chronic imbalances between sectors. In fact, the task of detailed central planning is too large to do and results in no effective coordination between sectors or even products. This imbalance causes factories to produce inputs they cannot get from the outside making them less efficient. Massive numbers of personal are required to do repairs rather than production. In some cases managers are known to send perfectly good machines to be repaired because repairs are part of the central plan. Unneeded goods produced as a result of unrealistically high production goals pile up in warehouses. In retail shops inventories for one item may exceed quarterly turnover and for another item may always be short.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
Non-profit, apolitical, independent, and non-governmental in nature, the UIA has been a pioneer in the research, monitoring and provision of information on international organizations, international associations and their global challenges since 1907.