Politicians who are structurally unable to know how best to allocate stimulus resources will inevitably distribute them to those persons and groups who will give them the most electoral support. The Austrian caution about the limits of politicians’ knowledge suggests that no matter what is drawn up on the blackboard, the politicisation of stimulus spending is not an accident and cannot be avoided. Stimulus spending that goes to groups that will provide the most votes will ensure that the right combinations of capital and labor will not be formed.
So what can we do? The answer lies in the criticism: free up competition, prices, profits, and losses so that entrepreneurs and others can finish the process of tearing down the mistakes of the boom and figure out how to reallocate those resources to their new best uses. That process takes time, but if politicians cease meddling in it and start allowing market processes to do their job, particularly by allowing failed firms to go bankrupt and sell off their assets for more valuable uses, recovery will take place more quickly.
Before the advent of Keynesianism, most recessions were very short lived as producers were left free to shuffle the jigsaw pieces into better combinations. It is the very lack of trust in markets, and the misguided trust in the political process, that Keynesianism produced that now leads us to think stimulus spending is necessary and effective. Hayek and the Austrians give us good reasons to think otherwise.
Segunda-feira, Setembro 03, 2012
Friedrich Hayek and the Eurozone Crisis
A European Jigsaw Puzzle por Steven Horwitz: