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Mutualist Blog: Free Market Anti-Capitalism

To dissolve, submerge, and cause to disappear the political or governmental system in the economic system by reducing, simplifying, decentralizing and suppressing, one after another, all the wheels of this great machine, which is called the Government or the State. --Proudhon, General Idea of the Revolution

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Location: Northwest Arkansas, United States

Monday, June 02, 2008

In The Freeman Again

Sheldon Richman has kindly published a second article of mine in the April issue of The Freeman: "Hierarchy or the Market." Teaser:

F. A. Hayek, in “The Use of Knowledge in Society,” used distributed, or idiosyncratic, knowledge—the unique situational knowledge possessed by each individual—as an argument against state central planning.

Milton Friedman’s dictum about “other people’s money” is well known. People are more careful and efficient in spending their own than other people’s money, and likewise in spending money on themselves more so than in spending money on other people.

A third insight is that people act most efficiently when they completely internalize the positive and negative results of their actions.

The corporate hierarchy violates all of these principles in a manner quite similar to the bureaucracy of a socialist state. Those at the top make decisions concerning a production process about which they likely know as little as did, say, the chief of an old Soviet industrial ministry.

The employees of a corporation, from the CEO down to the worker on the shop floor, are spending other people’s money, or using other people’s resources, for other people. Its managers, as Adam Smith observed 200 years ago, are “managers rather of other people’s money than of their own.”

By its nature, the corporation substitutes administrative incentives for what Oliver Williamson called the “high powered incentives” of the market: effort and productivity are separated from reward.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congrats Kevin.

I'm wondering when John McCain will do this.

June 03, 2008 9:21 AM  

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