Filed Under: Economy, Featured
Sunday potluck with the extended family. It turns out I am the ‘Detroit’ of the family; the lost age of promise still lingers in the wreckage.
Detroit was the place that epitomized the whole “American Dream” sales pitch, where anybody could scrape up a second chance and win a decent living for yourself and your family. The landless, the uneducated, the minor hooligans, and even people so stupid that they wasted their youthful years chasing graduate degrees could get a fresh start in work that mattered and be rewarded their efforts. Detroit got there first.
It ended long ago, but a car can still roll on for a while after engine cuts out. It is now grinding to a halt; the final halt.
In 1920, as socialist parties held power in Germany, Austria, Hungary, and Russia, it appeared that the world following World War I would be a world built by socialist planning. Ludwig von Mises, the Austrian economist, thought that a socialist world simply wouldn’t do, and put pen to paper to explain why. The result was Mises’ first published article, “Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth.”
Mises’ premise was really quite simple; in a socialist economy, things that are used to produce other things are controlled by the state, which means that investment in production goods no longer involves price comparisons. In a socialist system, the planners decide that more tractors should be built, and order factories to build them.
Socialist administrators can …