Reply to post: How to plan central planning

Govt control? Hah! It's IMPOSSIBLE to have a successful command economy

Pete 2 Silver badge

How to plan central planning

> the centre of that system can never actually access all of the required information be able to plan effectively.

When it comes to the big things, like making sure there are the right number of hospitals, schools, roads and police-officers, the gummint does a pretty good job. The decadal national census is specifically to allow these sorts of things to be done, based on actual data, rather than a few middle-class activists with placards, not wanting their bitsy-little rural hospital closed - giving way to whoever shouts loudest getting the most and best infrastructure.

We also see what happens when things are left to "the market": large areas of towns and cities that have no bank branches: where people have to travel miles simply to draw cash (and if you're elderly and reliant on public transport - this is more than a mere inconvenience). Another example would be TV programming. Economic theory tells us that the most efficient way for similar products or services to compete is for them to cluster together: either geographically which is why the best place to open a restaurant is next to another one, or by providing similar "stuff" which is why all the popular TV stations seem to all show the same sort of programmes, rather than providing diversity and choice.

For some aspects of our lives, competition and capitalism work well. They allow new products, things people actually want, to flourish and for the turkeys to die off. However, some things need either the investment that only state-sized financing can provide, are a public benefit but would never be a profitable prospect or need the hand of judicious regulation to stop the public getting stiffed. If you want to see the problems that raw commercialism can unleash - just look at american mobile phone or TV provision.

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