Fortune Magazine recently ran an article on the TVA (“Uncle Sam’s River”, Oct, 28th.) As a native Tennessean, I read the article with great interest. In the President’s most recent budget proposal, TVA apparently was put on the disposition block.Probably the vast majority of Americans have no idea that they own a utility company, or that it borrows with government-backed debt. The Tennessee Valley Authority is a vestige of the Roosevelt administration’s efforts to end the Great Depression. It brought electricity to great swaths of the rural South.
I propose that we Americanize TVA:1. Convert TVA to a “C Corporation” with approximately 350 million shares;
2. Give each holder of a Social Security number one share; and
3. Seek a listing on an exchange.The American taxpayer has bought and paid for TVA and should own it directly. And this would provide numerous benefits: Americans would feel a little richer, TVA would no longer be a credit drag on the full faith and credit of the U.S., and TVA would become subject to real governance via exchange rules, the SEC, Sarbanes-Oxley rules, etc.