There are eight main advantages of rationing by price over political rationing: it is neutral, informative, cautionary, pacific, humane, non-authoritarian, the essential missing link between supply and demand, and in any event indestructible. Pricing is imperfect, but the imperfections are out-weighed by the advantages. Political rationing, the method of socialism, is not always dissected candidly by socialist academics as the alternative they offer. Yet its defects, abuses and excesses are apparent from the history of socialism. The new form of politicized market offered by market socialists would not avoid the politicization of economic life that markets are designed to remove or minimize. And it lacks the qualities of market, private property pricing of capitalism.
DBx: Alas, I do not believe that the price system is indestructible. It can be destroyed by government coercion – especially that which comes in the form of price controls.
And of course, what Seldon says about “the new form of politicized market offered by market socialists” holds true for the interventions desired by advocates of industrial policy. All such advocates – because they advocate replacing market-determined patterns of resource use with patterns of resource use designed and imposed by the state – are in fact advocates of socializing significant portions of the economy.