The mythology of effective Keynesian centralized economic planning is born of the same mother as the mythology of creationist intelligent design.  Both of these fantasies arise as a result of the human mind’s inability to deal with complex systems.

Evolution and economics are just two forms of a larger phenomenon called complex adaptive systems, in which individual elements interact, process information and adapt their behavior to changing conditions. Immune systems, ecosystems, language, the law, and the Internet are other examples of complex adaptive systems.

Intuitively, it just seems impossible that millions of tiny economic actors just acting in their own interests could produce something as amazingly productive as the global economy.  Keynesians have a religious faith that our society’s unimaginable wealth must be a result of the conscious efforts of a top-down intelligent designer, the Federal Reserve, creating order in the chaos of the free market.

Just as creationists naturally deduce the existence of a top-down intelligent designer, Keynesians also infer that a top-down government designer is needed in nearly every aspect of the economy. However, in reality, complex living organisms are shaped from the bottom up by natural selection.  In the same way, our economy is molded from the bottom up by the invisible hand.

Businesses are formed by a confluence of random self-interested parties.  Those that happen to produce more value than they consume survive and proliferate.  Those that are not well suited for their business environment are removed from the commercial gene pool unless their presidential god intervenes.


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©2020 Mike P. Sinn

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