Monday, January 30, 2012

Quote of the Day: Built To Last

President Obama in his recent state of the union address:
"Think about the America within our reach: A country that leads the world in educating its people. An America that attracts a new generation of high-tech manufacturing and high-paying jobs. A future where we're in control of our own energy, and our security and prosperity aren't so tied to unstable parts of the world. An economy built to last, where hard work pays off, and responsibility is rewarded."
Oh my, "an economy built to last." Economies are not built. Economies are "of human action, not of human design." Economies are emergent and dynamic and evolving.

Well, at least this is true for the catallaxy (thank you Hayek). But perhaps a personal economy can be humanly designed. What would an economy that could be personally designed look like? It would probably look something like me living alone on a farm/ranch some where in the middle of a plains state, perhaps around 1860. I could control my farm/ranch economy so I could design it and imprint my "built to last" motto over the fireplace. However, without being able to rely on the division of labor and exchanges with others, my built to last economy would provide a rather meager and subsistence way of life.

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