Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

TGIF: Ducking Hayek

Posted by M. C. on May 15, 2023

Mises’s fundamental point, which logically precedes Hayek’s later addition, was that without real, honest market prices for all inputs, the economic calculation required for rational and efficient mass production would be impossible. And, he went on, you can’t have honest market prices without private ownership and markets in resources and producer goods. (The Marxists sought the abolition of private property.) Flourishing and even life itself thus depend on prices and their prerequisites — prices that cannot be ascertained or even generated except in the market

by Sheldon Richman


May 8 marked the 124th anniversary of the birth of F. A. Hayek, the 1974 Nobel-winning economist of the Austrian school. (He died in 1992.) That makes it a good time to acknowledge one of his many contributions, his epistemic case for the free and competitive market order. It’s well-suited to the information age.

One of Hayek’s best-known articles was published in 1945 in the American Economic Review“The Use of Knowledge in Society” (reprinted in Individualism and Economic Order). He got right to the point:

What is the problem we wish to solve when we try to construct a rational economic order? On certain familiar assumptions the answer is simple enough. If we possess all the relevant information, if we can start out from a given system of preferences, and if we command complete knowledge of available means, the problem which remains is purely one of logic. That is, the answer to the question of what is the best use of the available means is implicit in our assumptions….

This, however, is emphatically not the economic problem which society faces…. The reason for this is that the “data” from which the economic calculus starts are never for the whole society “given” to a single mind … and can never be so given.

See the rest here

Be seeing you


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