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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 62 of Eric Mack’s excellent 2018 book, Libertarianism (reference deleted; original emphasis):

Adam Smith pointed out that no one plans the enormously complex network of cooperative interactions that leads from the miner who mines the ore that becomes the shepherd’s shears to the shepherd to the wool cloth manufacturer to the urban worker’s wool coat. Nor does anyone plan the network of production, exchange, and distribution that brings every sort of footwear that anyone in your city might want to wear to some outlet in (or virtually in) your city. Such chains of coordination arise through a multitude of individually planned actions; but the chains as a whole and the larger networks of such chains are not intended by, and could not be successfully planned by, anyone.

DBx: The economic insight described here by Mack is foundational. It is central to the works of Adam Smith and of F.A. Hayek. Ignorance of this insight poisons the roots of most proposed schemes, small to large, for using state-sponsored coercion to improve the economy. Ignorance of this insight discredits the analyses and proposals offered by proponents of industrial policy. Ignorance of this insight ensures the emergence of negative unforeseen consequences from schemes meant to “bring home supply chains,” to “promote the jobs of tomorrow,” and to “protect strategic industries.”