Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Progressives can't get past the Knowledge Problem

Very interesting:

Glenn Harlan Reynolds: Progressives can't get past the Knowledge Problem | Washington Examiner: "'If no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else?' -- President Reagan, Jan. 20, 1981.

Economist Friedrich Hayek explained in 1945 why centrally controlled 'command economies' were doomed to waste, inefficiency, and collapse: Insufficient knowledge. He won a Nobel Prize. But it turns out he was righter than he knew.

In his 'The Use of Knowledge In Society,' Hayek explained that information about supply and demand, scarcity and abundance, wants and needs exists in no single place in any economy. The economy is simply too large and complicated for such information to be gathered together.

Any economic planner who attempts to do so will wind up hopelessly uninformed and behind the times, reacting to economic changes in a clumsy, too-late fashion and then being forced to react again to fix the problems that the previous mistakes created, leading to new problems, and so on."

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