Philosophical 1 page
Imagine that, in the after math of Hurricane Maria, local stores in Puerto Rico suddenly find themselves flooded with panicked citizens who need various goods to deal with their sudden new problems (unfortunately this doesn’t take much imagination). But the stores have small inventories and cannot accommodate everyone’s desires. If Hayek were watching, how would he expect the stores to decide how to allocate resources among the citizens’ competing desires?
Suppose that Donald Trump finds out about the hurricane impact and wants to take action to help the citizens of Puerto Rico. In addition to sending supplies and disaster relief professionals to the scene, Trump considers using professional economists to decide how goods should be allocated among the local citizenry. If Trump asked Hayek for advice regarding this proposal, what do you think Hayek would say? And why?
What do you think of Hayek’s advice? Do you think local stores or the Trump administration should — in the sense of morally should — follow it? Why or why not?
As with previous VoiceThread assignments please try to keep your responses under 4 minutes or so.