Monday, November 7, 2016

When Hayek Told the Students’ Union of the London School of Economics About Human Folly and Economics

From Don Boudreaux:

Quotations of the Day is from page 35 of Hayek’s February 23, 1944, speech to the Students’ Union of the London School of Economics, “On Being An Economist,” as this address is printed in the 1991 collection, The Trend of Economic Thinking, which is Vol. 3 inThe Collected Works of F.A. Hayek:

The economist’s lot, however, is to study a field in which, almost more than any other, human folly displays itself.
That folly – displayed routinely in the likes of tariffs, minimum wages, and occupational-licensing mandates – always works to the advantage of some interest groups, whose members enjoy bank accounts that swell at the greater expense of people nearly all of whom haven’t the slightest idea that they are being robbed by these foolish policies.  Indeed, in many (most?) cases – such as the minimum wage – legions of the victims themselves support the foolish policies that inflict harm on them.
The above originally appeared at Cafe Hayek.