… is from page 354 of Deirdre N. McCloskey’s insight-filled 1994 collection, Knowledge and Persuasion in Economics (original emphasis):
The problem in economic life is not calculating what to do after knowing all that you need to know. The problem is coming to know.
DBx: Indeed. And in the modern economy, the relevant details are so numerous and localized, frequently fleeting, and often in a form that can be understood only by people with the experience that comes with specialization, that the notion of improving economic outcomes by substituting the commands of government officials for the decisions of market participants is beyond ludicrous.