Hayek on health care, social safety nets and public housing<
The following passage is taken from The Road to Serfdom, Text and Documents, The Definitive Edition, by F. A. Hayek, edited by Bruce Caldwell, University of Chicago Press, 2007
I commend everyone — not least those who claim to be Hayekians — to read the master’s own words. Indeed, I urge you to read the whole book, not merely the abridged and re-interpreted and too often mistaken accounts of this most important contribution to today’s political and economic debate.
The Road to Serfdom, pp 148-149
“There is, finally, the supremely important problem of combating general fluctuations of economic activity and the recurrent waves of large-scale unemployment which accompany them. This is, of course, one of the gravest and most pressing problems of our time. But, though its solution will require much planning in the good sense, it does not — or at least need not — require that special kind of planning which according to its advocates is to replace the market.
“Many economists hope, indeed, that the ultimate remedy may be found in the field of monetary policy, which would involve nothing incompatible even with nineteenth-century liberalism. Others, it is true, believe that real success can be expected only from the skillful timing of public works undertaken on a very large scale. This might lead to much more serious restrictions of the competitive sphere, and, in experimenting in this direction, we shall have to carefully watch our step if we are to avoid making all economic activity progressively more dependent on the direction and volume of government expenditure. But this is neither the only nor, in my opinion, the most promising way of meeting the gravest threat to economic security.
“In any case, the very necessary effort to secure protection against these fluctuations do not lead to the kind of planning which constitutes such a threat to our freedom.”