Sunday, October 7, 2018

The Contributions of Ludwig von Mises and Why He Said Socialism Can't Work

Richard Ebeling is one of the leading Misesian scholars going today---and a great communicator on top of it.



  1. I hate repeating myself but when someone says "socialism doesn't work" I ask "works for who? (whom?)

    If you define "works" as bringing the greatest liberty and economic opportunity and self-sufficiency to the most number of people then it fails miserably. But if you define "works" as bringing unearned wealth and power to the ruling class and their cronies, then it "works" beautifully.

    1. @Robert What?

      I don’t think this is quite accurate. Socialism shrinks the size of the economic pie, leaving smaller scraps available for plunder. There’s a reason why the elite have moved away from advocating socialism in favor of crony capitalism. They’ve realize that it’s generally preferable to have some power over an economic powerhouse than it is to have total control over an impoverished ant hill. Mises made this point beautifully, that socialism is usually inferior even from the perspective of the would-be central planner.

    2. Evan, while I agree with you completely on the ultimate arithmetic -- seizing 95% of 100 is less than receiving 1% of 10,000 -- getting to this crossover point can take many decades, which is why so many socialist leaders persist for so long. There is probably an interim period in which they do better than they could in a less controlled society, and if their time preference is high, that may be just fine with them.