F.A. Hayek was born on this day in 1899. To mark this occasion, I offer a brief passage from page 104 of Hayek’s 1973 book Law, Legislation, and Liberty, Vol. 1: Rules and Order:
Maintaining the overall flow of results in a complex system of production requires great elasticity of the actions of the elements of the system, and it will only be through unforeseeable changes in the particulars that a high degree of predictability of the overall results can be achieved.
Interfering with trade and technological advances in order to protect certain producers from disappointment (and, hence, from the need to adjust to changes) not only makes the economy less productive over time, but also infuses it with greater uncertainty.