Counterfactual Concession to the Looters

With regard to government planning and the implementation of plans: Mises said there is a calculation problem; Hayek said there is a knowledge problem; I say there is a crime problem. Those who control the state seek power and plunder, and as a rule they get, more or less, exactly what they seek. Mises and Hayek framed their arguments by crediting the planners’ stated intention to promote the general public interest. I choose not to make such a counterfactual concession to the looters.

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Robert Higgs is Senior Fellow in Political Economy at the Independent Institute and Editor at Large of the Institute’s quarterly journal The Independent Review. He received his Ph.D. in economics from Johns Hopkins University, and he has taught at the University of Washington, Lafayette College, Seattle University, the University of Economics, Prague, and George Mason University. He has been a visiting scholar at Oxford University and Stanford University, and a fellow at the Hoover Institution and the National Science Foundation.