… is from page 62 of the 2011 revised and enlarged edition of Thomas Sowell’s 2009 book Intellectuals and Society (footnote deleted):
Why the transfer of economic decisions from the individuals and organizations directly involved – often depicted collectively and impersonally as “the market” – to third parties who pay no price for being wrong should be expected to produce better results for society at large is a question seldom asked, much less answered. To say, as John Dewey did, that there must be “social control of economic forces” sounds good in a vague sort of way, until that is translated into specifics as the holders of political power forbidding voluntary transactions among the citizenry.
DBx: Yes. And of course what was said long ago by John Dewey is being said again today by many others, from Robert Reich and Elizabeth Warren on the political left to Oren Cass and Marco Rubio on the political right.
Like Dewey, these supporters of replacing substantial swathes of voluntary market transactions with coercive government diktats tell us neither how government officials will get the detailed information they would need in order to enrich the country with their commands, nor why even miraculously fully informed officials spending other people’s money are to be trusted to spend that money better than it would be spent by people spending their own – and only their own – money.