Hayek’s ghost

One couldn’t find a better indication of the failures of central planning than this, as what appears initially as a somewhat promising debate over the means and goals of environmental management immediately degenerates into a strangely nasty fight over the relative importance of specific environmental problems. It’s quite possible that in the case of the air, for example, the tragedy of the commons is inevitable since air cannot really be divided up among people, but those cases are the exception rather than the rule, and by and large this sort of exchange envisions exactly the sort of situation that characterized the early part of the 20th century in economic affairs, with the government pushing money and resources around from one crisis to another, with no long-term solutions in sight because no one affected had any means of taking care of their affairs independently.

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