The Price is Right

hayekKurt Bouwhuis, Mackinac Center Intern

I was reading through The Road To Serfdom by F.A. Hayek last night, and stumbled across a fantastic passage:  “In a competitive society the prices we have to pay for a thing, the rate at which we can get one thing for another, depend on the quantities of other things of which by taking one, we deprive the other members of society.   This price is not determined by the conscious will of anybody.  And if one way of achieving our ends proves too expensive for us, we are free to try other ways.  The obstacles in our path are not due to someone’s disapproving of our ends but to the fact that the same means are also wanted elsewhere.  In a directed economy, where the authority watches over the ends pursued, it is certain that it would use its power to assist some ends and to prevent the realization of others.”


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