As I have mentioned in my previous article on the census, I don’t believe that there is much of a case for it to be used in state planning. In this article I will talk about another reason why state planning is generally a bad idea.
The authoritarian statist will believe that the state is the one true holder of all knowledge and that it never makes any mistakes. But the government is made up of people, with all their human failings. And also the failings of group think and committees. So in actual fact the state is probably the worst place to make decisions.
Many a time the state will plan something only to find that events don’t proceed as planned, or that some unintended consequences occur. For instance, in California the state was persuaded of the benefits of the green agenda and so they set out a law that all the Johns should be low flush types. But the unintended consequence of this was that the sewers which were designed for high flow rates of water started to back up and create a stink. So now California does save water, but it is not being green as they flush loads of sodium hydroxide (caustic soda to you and me) down the sewers to counter the smell.
Another example of brilliant planning by the state, or should I say ill thought out planning by humans, is again in the realm of Green Eco. In this case it’s in Spain where the were so keen to follow the Green agenda and knowing that they have lots of sun that they thought that having high feed in tariffs would encourage everyone to take up the cause. But through lack of thought by the planners they didn’t take into account human ingenuity which led to photovoltaic panels producing energy in the middle of the night – because diesel fuel is cheaper than the feed in tariff.
I’m sure you can find many more examples of such unintended consequences caused by the all-knowing-all-powerful-never-make-a-mistake state.