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unrepentant progress

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Name: Wouldn\'t you love to know?
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As Republicans Hail Hayek, Their Plans Advance Friedman

As he undertook an American lecture tour in 1944, Hayek expressed frustration that many of his most ardent acolytes seemed not to have read the book. Although “The Road to Serfdom” expressed deep anxieties about central planning, it was also explicit about the positive role that government could play. “Probably nothing has done so much harm to the liberal cause,” Hayek wrote, as a “wooden insistence” on “laissez-faire.”

Hayek was quick to point out a number of areas where regulations might be beneficial, including the restriction of excessive working hours, the maintenance of sanitary conditions and the control of poisonous substances. And he argued that the price system became “ineffective” when property owners weren’t charged for the damages they caused; hence the need to regulate deforestation, farming, and the smoke and noise produced by factories. “In such instances,” he wrote, “we must find some substitute for the regulation by the price mechanism.”

<snip>
Much of the contemporary animus against excessive regulation more closely resembles ideas first brought into general circulation by Milton Friedman. Where Hayek perceived a host of areas that might be improved by regulation, Friedman saw almost none.

In the 1960s, although very few among even his closest allies shared such views, Friedman advocated for the abolition of almost every regulatory arm of the federal government. He argued that the agencies with famous abbreviations -- the ICC, FCC, FDA -- should all be shuttered to grant greater discretion to consumers, whose actions Friedman viewed as the most reliable record of public opinion. If doctors and dentists would be allowed to practice without licensing requirements, he said, the cost of care would plunge, yielding benefits that far outweighed any dangers that uncertified practitioners might pose. (If one proved inept with a drill, Friedman reasoned, consumer preferences would soon take that into account.)

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-20/as-republicans-hail-hayek-their-plans-advance-friedman.html
Posted by unrepentant progress | Thu Mar 28, 2013, 09:41 PM (2 replies)
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