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Quotation of the Day…

… is from the late GMU Econ alum Steve Horwitz’s March 11th, 2013, contribution (“Breaking Open the Black Boxes of Political Economy“) to a Liberty Matters forum titled “James Buchanan: An Assessment” (original emphasis):

Starting with Ludwig von Mises’s 1920 paper [“Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth”] and 1922 book [Socialism], and extending through Hayek’s famous essays in the 1930s and 40s, the Austrians argued that central economic planners would lack the knowledge necessary to allocate resources with any semblance of economic rationality. As [Geoff] Brennan points out, Buchanan accepted this argument, but chose to ask a different question: If political actors did have the knowledge necessary, would they have the incentives to act on that knowledge in the right way? It is worth noting that one can view the Austrian contribution as asking the inverse question: Even if planners’ incentives are properly aligned, can they acquire the knowledge to do the right thing that they really wish to do?

DBx: Steve (pictured here) died, at the too-young age of 57, two years ago today.

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