Even the smartest, most motivated, best-intentioned bureaucrats cannot plan complex human undertakings—such as the workings of the economy, or subsectors of the economy—because they do not and cannot have access to data sufficient to make those decisions, the data being too complex and in constant flux. The fictional antidote to Asimov is I, Pencil, a short story that ought to be mandatory reading in every school in the land.
| It is at one. You can read it in When We Are Free at Northwood University as part of their Philosophy of American Enterprise course.
“More importantly, Boettke is the one who, ever since I left the econ department at George Mason to pursue a career in policy (which he wasn’t happy about, as he thinks that academia is the place to fight our fight), has tirelessly reminded me that ideas, not politics, are what matter and what I should focus on. Ideas are what we are fighting for, no matter what’s happening in Washington, no matter what the America people think at any given moment. It is because of our long conversations during the financial crisis, when I was depressed about my total inability to change things, especially in light of the resurgence of Keynesian economics, that I am still out here today fighting for free markets, for the power of the price system, and against centralization.”