quinta-feira, fevereiro 17, 2005
A Marvel of Cooperation: How Order Emerges without a Conscious Planner
Artigo de Russel Roberts na Econolib.Over the next five or ten years, hundreds of millions of Chinese are expected to leave the Chinese countryside and move to the city. This extraordinary migration will require millions of adjustments to take place to make sure that our lives here in America are not thrown totally out of whack. All those newly-arrived Chinese city dwellers will use more pencils, drink more coffee, buy more bicycles, buy more cars and so on. Will there be enough to go around for those of us outside of China? Surely this expected migration will cause immense disruption. Should we worry about it? What precautions should we take to make that transition a smooth one?
And yet, (...) we rightly lose little or no sleep worrying about these changes. The transition will be managed not by a Congressional committee or Presidential board charged with averting a crisis. The transition will be handled by the price system and we'll hardly notice it. Past of the reason for my confidence is based on my theoretical understanding of how markets work as Hayek describes them. But much of my confidence comes from the evidence of the past 20 years when a hundred million Chinese made the same trek we're talking about in the future. This is the greatest migration in human history and my guess is that you missed it. Very little changed in the world around us. The Chinese didn't buy up all the bicycles or cedar for the pencils or coffee grounds for more coffee. Somehow, our economic system took care of this transition so effectively, that most of us didn't even know it happened.
Such changes are happening all the time. The price system, along with the profit we allow producers to earn for responding effectively to prices, keeps our economic lives orderly in the face of those changes. Teachers of economics, this one included, should be looking for ways to illuminate the unseen workings of that incredible system. It is a system that is often described as competitive. Yet it is ultimately a system of cooperation. No one designed the system. It works without anyone being in charge. Marvel at it.
posted by Miguel Noronha 6:07 da tarde
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