Israel Kirzner puts his finger on the key condition that allows market prices to reflect this vast amount of knowledge: freedom of entry into markets. If individuals are not free to enter a market, market prices cannot reflect their knowledge. Socialist central planners must prohibit freedom of entry. If they do not, there is no central plan, but rather dispersed planning. The only hope a private citizen with a new idea has is to convince a government functionary that his new idea is worth trying. This stands in direct contrast to what Adam Thierer has helpfully called “Permisionless Innovation.”
The same is true of many anarchist variants of socialism. If the means of production are held by the workers in common, someone with a new idea about what to make or how to make it must seek the approval of his peers. What Hayek, following Henry Manne, called “several property” —meaning property that is severed from joint group control — is an essential condition free initiative. Prohibiting free initiative is a common thread across most proposed socialisms, so I take it to be a defining aspect of the creed. Service to the community requires community oversight.
That especially mattered, Edwards states, in light of what he considers the Chicago Boys’ biggest mistake: their assumption that they had won the intellectual battle because (in their view) the results of economic liberalization spoke for themselves. By Edward’s account, they never developed a powerful normative narrative, capable of countering the tale of oppression constructed by leftists like [Gabriel] Boric, who studied the writings of Antonio Gramsci and Jürgen Habermas in Chilean universities in the 2000s and 2010s and then relentlessly propagated their narrative via activism and social media. Most Chilean economic liberalizers found themselves at sea when it became apparent that neither economic growth nor sound economics sufficed to persuade.
While finding much merit in Alex Salter’s new book on distributism, David Gordon remains unconvinced that advocates of distributism have anything of value to contribute to the case for the free society. A slice:
The criticisms of the argument about the alleged lack of access to productive resources apply to Chesterton and [Wilhelm] Röpke as well. Like [Hilaire] Belloc, Chesterton wanted to interfere with the free market to promote the outcomes he thought best. Laws that imposed taxes on chain stores, for example, did not “really” restrict freedom. Salter acknowledges that Chesterton’s rationale for these laws, and others like them, is nonsense and that Chesterton knew little about economics. Röpke, an outstanding professional economist, argued forcefully for the virtues of economic freedom, but at times he did not resist the temptation to tweak the free market to promote the sort of small communities he deemed best.
For decades, economists have shown that higher minimum wages, however well-intended, take a toll on the economy’s weakest workers, those most lacking in experience, skill, mental and physical capacity, or personal stability. For workers barely clinging to that bottom rung on the ladder, it is no kindness to push the rung higher. By forcing up the lowest wage at which they can lawfully be employed, government officials make them unemployable. And when they lose their jobs, it isn’t long before some of them end up on the streets.
National Conservatives do endorse federalism, a tenet of American constitutionalism, except “in those states or subdivisions in which law and justice have been manifestly corrupted, or in which lawlessness, immorality, and dissolution reign.” Immorality and dissolution are left undefined, and what happens when the Left gets to set these terms is not said. “Where a Christian majority exists,” National Conservatives say, “public life should be rooted in Christianity and its moral vision, which should be honored by the state and other institutions both public and private” (my emphasis). The First Amendment says otherwise. Of course, the First Amendment wasn’t included in “the Constitution of 1787.”
Rand Paul is spot on. The US FDA specifically cited observational data from Israel to support the perpetual booster campaign. These data from Israel are not randomized, and not useful. The US FDA is letting Pfizer make billions from unproven boosters given to millions.