This is but a minor post, to muse on something said explicitly at Cafe Hayek (I write it that way to put off all the H-haters) as almost an aside. The main point is worth saying again; the text is from Dawkins: if you start with a complicated working mechanism... there are many more ways of making it worse than of making it better. Obvious but easily missed; and very obvious when you see wazzocks like Trump or Maduro flailing around desperately trying to change things; by now we're into their phase n, where they're trying to patch up the results of phase n - 1, which was them trying to patch up the multi-order consequences of their previous actions.
Anyway, onto what DB wants to say, which is
there are many more ways of making the economy worse than there are of making it better. Therefore, the wise course is to devolve decision-making down to as low as level as possible. Let each person survey his or her immediate economic surroundings and, using his or her unique knowledge and perspective, adjust. If that person adjusts in a mistaken way, the harm will be localized and he or she has a powerful incentive to get it right on subsequent tries. Private property and contract rights encourage this localized decision-making. But state intervention is not localized; it’s systemic and large-scale. The chances that the state will get it right are slim; the unintended, unseen ill-consequences of such intervention are always almost certain to swamp whatever benefits such intervention brings.I largely agree, but (and I thought of commenting there, but I know it won't work, so didn't bother) the idea that everything should devolve down seems wrong, by analogy to solving fluid dynamics equations. The kind of thing I'm thinking of is stuff like multigrid, terribly popular when I was doing my doctorate. If you just solve problems locally, global convergence is very slow, and gets worse as your local grid becomes finer. I'm not sure how good an analogy that is, though, because that's about the flow of information, and nowadays information flows very well, to anyone interested. One could think about the flow of rules, perhaps. There's no absolute boundary, but I'd travel in the direction that DB suggests, from where we are today.
* My exciting response to mt's anti-driverless-car urtext on Medium, which I don't much like.
* Venezuela’s tragedy shows the folly of messing with markets.