… is from page 5 of F.A. Hayek’s January 1976 Morgan Guaranty Survey essay, “The New Confusion About ‘Planning’ ” (original emphasis):
The worst confusion by which the new American agitation for “planning” is permeated … was most naively expressed in the first sentence of a lead editorial in the February 23, 1975 issue of The New York Times. It asked “Why is planning considered a good thing for individuals an business but a bad thing for the national economy?”
It is almost unbelievable that at this date an honest seeker after truth should innocently become the victim of the equivocal use of the word planning and believe that the discussion about economic planning refers to the question of whether people should plan their affairs and not to the question of who should plan their affairs.
DBx: To the extent that the economy is planned by government, the plans of private people – consumers, workers, households, firms, and non-profit organizations spending their own money or money voluntarily entrusted to them – are overridden by politicians and bureaucrats spending other people’s money. By stomping out plans at the individual level – plans brought into coordination with each other through the competitive market and price system – economic planning by the state substitutes the force and stupidity of the giant, who is ignorant of important details, for the voluntary decision-making and intelligence of legions of ordinary people.
To anyone who thinks like an economist, socialism – of whatever flavor or intensity – is good neither in practice nor in theory. Only those who are utterly oblivious both to the economic way of thinking and, in 2019, to the lessons of history fall for socialism’s false promises.