By John Sykes
Unfortunately our progressives, led by an un-repentant narcissist who surely is smarter than everyone else, including his advisers, think they can efficiently state plan an economy whose intricacy is beyond their intelligence.
Economist Donald J. Boudreaux explains why the data necessary to rationally plan a market economy cannot be known to central government:
A market economy is indescribably vast and complex—its success depends on so many intricate, changing details all somehow being made to work smoothly together that the "facts" that are essential to its thriving cannot be catalogued with anywhere near the completeness that can be achieved by a 21st-century scientist studying and cataloging the "facts" that enable sparrows to fly. A sparrow is complex compared, say, to a limestone rock. Compared to the modern market economy, however, a sparrow is extremely simple.
A surge in the supply of steel in Detroit for the month of October 2012—an uptick in consumer demand for a specific color of car and a downtick in demand for another color—the possibility of using a new financial instrument to spread investment risks more widely—unexpected difficulties in hiring workers who possess a certain set of skills—an innovation that lowers the costs of advertising—an electrical failure that threatens to shut down for several days a section of a factory—a trucking company that discovers it underestimated the fuel costs of delivering 1,000 new automobiles to dealerships throughout New England. . . . Dealing with details such as these—details that Hayek called "the particular circumstances of time and place"—is not incidental to the success of a modern economy; it is of the essence.
Awareness of these facts, and of knowledge of workable options of how to respond to them, are key to the growth and continued success of any market economy. These facts are dealt with successfully only in market economies and only to the extent that individuals on the spot are free to respond to these facts as they, individually, see fit.
We know the Soviet system didn’t work. We know the socialism of Sweden and others of it’s modern fellow-travellers is going nowhere. Economic mobility in Europe is practically non-existent. And the vicissitudes of state planning in China are coming to the fore. All their futures are ones of stagnation or implosion.
But our progressives know better, even more so as they rewrite history. They are the simple ones, not the economy. But they would have us all pay for their hubris.
May our sparrows stay in flight. Watching them may be one of the few pleasures left us.