Tuesday, December 28, 2010

From the LNC Quote Shop -Shopkeepers vs. Planners

Sauvik Chakraverti-

When we contrast shopkeepers with planners, we see that the two perform very different kinds of "work." The shopkeeper has his eye on physical stocks and their rate of depletion as he sells hundreds of goods to his customers. The planner has no customers. The planner studies government files and government reports. On the basis of the recommendations in these files, the planner decides to allocate "public capital" towards certain projects aimed at improving the lives of the people. All these projects are executed by the bureaucracy. In all these cases, the bureaucracy benefits - not the people, whose needs remain unsatisfied, despite all the complex mathematics and detailed statistics. It is no coincidence that anything planned is in short supply - like roads and electricity. Only entrepreneurs can produce "goods"; governments produce "bads."

(emphasis mine)