Wednesday, March 24, 2004


Thanks to Lanlan Wang for pointing me to Robert Fromani's Are We Serfs? The author notes that we have, perhaps, escaped Hayek's most pessimistic forecasts: the politicians and regulators have continued piling on (as Hayek predicted) but an argument can be made that we are freer and richer in spite of all this (we are not serfs).

People can be expected to be creative and to do their very best to circumvent rules and regs. Unpredictable discovery proceeds "in Hayekian fashion." Even the centrally planned economies survived as long as they did because of black market activities. Punishment for those caught "doing business" was severe but informal markets kept going.

Interesting that the herald of spontaneous orders was reluctant to go with a more optimistic forecast.