Nov 28, 2007

Thomas DiLorenzo: "Mises was right and Samuelson was wrong" about central planning

Consider how [Ludwig von] Mises conducted himself compared to "mainstream" economists. I once read through all the back editions of Paul Samuelson's economics textbook for an aticle I wrote for Policy Review in 1987 ("Invasion of the Free Market Textbooks"). Samuelson preached to generations of students that central planning was inevitable, the wave of the future, so that there was no use opposing it. Instead, he advised Americans especially to read his book so that we Americans can become better central planners than the Russians. It all sounded very practical to most people at the time. Just call it "Keyensian fine-tuning" and no one will notice that it is half-assed central planning.

Mises, of course, never budged from his position that rational economic calculation under socialism was an impossibility, and that middle-of-the-road policies would also inevitably lead to socialism. He was right and Samuelson was wrong, even though as late as the 1980s "everyone knew" the opposite was supposedly true.

~ Thomas DiLorenzo, "'Pragmatic' vs. Principled Libertarians," November 12, 2003

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