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If Government Ordered Your Lunch, Would You Get What You Want?
Could the U.S. government ever fulfill every American’s wishes? What would that require?
Professor Antony Davies demonstrates the inherent problems with government planning through the simple analogy of ordering lunch. Only individuals themselves have the knowledge of what their own needs and desires are and how they can best fulfill them.
“Consider a very simple case. You’ve got a room full of twenty people, and you, personally, have to order lunch for all of them. Now, immediately you’ve got problems of dietary restrictions and what people like and what people don’t like; you’re going to get it wrong. What’s going to happen is, for some of these people, you’ll order the right lunch, for a lot of them, you won’t order the right lunch, and they’re going to be unhappy.
And that’s just ordering lunch. Now imagine trying to direct lots of economic decisions, from what type of light bulbs you put in your socket at home, to what type of gas you put in your car, and immediately you see this problem of when the government comes in and attempts to decide for us what’s best for us. Even if it is benevolent, it fails because it lacks the necessary information to make those decisions correctly”. -Antony Davies