|I just read Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth (von Mises, 1920) and was fascinated by how devastating a critique it is -- and also by how large is the difference between Hayek (who was in error) and Mises (who was, in this essay at least, completely free of error). |
In the foreword, Yuri Maltsev mentions how the Soviets attempted to set 22 million prices for things (along with 460,000 wage rates) -- without the ability to ascertain the effects of those prices and wages on actual people over any length of time (because without exchange there can be no effective appraisal of what is next needed, or of what is a good next step in production). In the postscript (p 56), Joseph Salerno gives the not-so-pretty picture of a planned "economy":
In the Soviet Union, for example, in the midst of a dire undersupply of food products, new and unused tractors stand rusting in fields of unharvested grain, because there does not exist sufficient fuel to power them, labor to operate them, or structures to house them.After an initial "centrally planned" allocation of resources, the socialist-communist, statist-collectivists couldn't tell what was needed next, or what was a good next step in the production of values -- and tens of millions of people paid with their very lives for that avoidable mistake.
(Edited by Ed Thompson on 8/24, 12:23pm)