Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Hayek at Bodega Bay

I was away with family for four days just this weekend. We rented a home near Bodega Bay in California; the weather was lousy except for the very first day. The beach was chilly and we had fog most of the time. We still had a great time all in all. During quiet times, I managed to re-read some chapters of F.A. Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom. I came across this paragraph and I felt that it is as relevant today as it was back in the 1940’s:

Economic liberalism [Free-market capitalism] is opposed, however, to competition’s being supplanted by inferior methods of coordinating individual efforts. And it regards competition as superior not only because it is in most circumstances the most efficient method known but even more because it is the only method by which our activities can be adjusted to each other without coercive or arbitrary intervention of authority.

It seems that the events of the last several months have moved us away from freer markets and to more government oversight and planning. How long before we see the “unintended consequences” of these actions?

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