I am likely to have limited computer access for about a week (or more), my gut reaction to leaving no commentary on my webpage is, “Let the Market Handle It.” In other words, people might realize that my site has been quiet and know that I must be away, and will continue to wish to be updated upon my return. However, this cry sometimes rings hollow even to the most Hayekian of economists. Never fear however, Don Boudreaux once wrote a piece describing why believing in “Let the Market Handle It” is neither simplistic nor dogmatic. My favorite passages follow:
I admit that my proposed solution for many public-policy problems is to say “Let the market handle it.” But this response is neither naive nor lazy. It’s realistic. It reflects my understanding that almost any problem you name — rebuilding the Katrina-ravaged Gulf Coast, providing excellent education for children, reducing traffic congestion on highways — is most likely to be dealt with efficiently, fairly and effectively by the market rather than by government. …
… In brief, to advise “Let the market handle it” is a shorthand way of saying, “I have no simplistic plan for dealing with this problem; indeed, I reject all simplistic plans. Only a competitive, decentralized institution interlaced with dependable feedback loops — the market — can be relied upon to discover and implement a sufficiently detailed way to handle the problem in question.”
Nonetheless, the site will likely be quiet until the New Year. So have a safe holiday season.
So, I fade away for 10 days or so in peace, knowing that at least someone, somewhere understands that individuals can’t even control the simplest of life’s processes.