Why politics and planning just aren't good ways to run things

That there will be politics is obvious enough, that there will be some modicum of planning equally. There really are problems which need to be chewed over publicly, it really is true that all markets all the time markets does not address every single problem we face. It's also obviously true that democracy is valuable in that deciding upon what the goals are is important.

However, it's also important to note that the politics part introduces gross inefficiencies into the system. This is above and beyond Hayek's point about the centre never having the information to plan, this is about the purblind refusal to accept what we do in fact know. Take the subject of consent for organ donations:

A new system of presumed consent for organ donation will save up to 700 lives a year, ministers have said.

The Government today confirmed its intention to change the rules in spring 2020, introducing an “opt-out” model after decades of debate.

It's not just that we have no evidence of this contention, it's that all the evidence we do have show us that this contention is wrong:

The best estimates of presumed consent suggested that switching to presumed consent might increase organ donor rates by 25%. 25% isn’t bad! But we don’t have many examples of countries that have switched from one system to another so that estimate should be taken with a grain of salt.

The latest evidence comes form Wales which switched to presumed-consent in 2013. Unfortunately, there has been no increase in donation rates.

We're the people who actually conducted the experiment. We're the people who produced the evidence. No lives are saved by the nationalisation of corpses because nationalising corpses doesn't raise the transplant rate.

We have pointed out, many a time, that paying donors for organs - as in Iran, where there is no waiting list for kidneys - works, no other method we've tried does in the sense of producing enough organs for the desired number of transplants. But that isn't our point here.

This is our point:

The legislation, which was introduced in Parliament last July, is expected to return to the House of Commons in the autumn, having won widespread political backing so far.

Planning doesn't work for Hayekian reasons. But also because politics will determine what is planned and how. And politics doesn't produce the right answer nor the best plan. It produces what many people agree upon, a very different matter.

As here, enough agree that presumed consent will increase transplant rates therefore that's going to be the political action. The real world tells us - in an experiment conducted by our very selves just yesterday - that presumed consent won't work. But it's still going to happen because politics isn't a good way of determining how we do things.

All of which is Churchill on democracy of course. The lesson of which is that sometimes we must use this not very good system. But let's limit our use of the not good system to when we must shall we? Rather than using this inefficient, often entirely wrong, political planning in every nook and cranny of our lives and economy.

After all, if political decision making is to ignore the evidence staring them in the face over organ donation what's to make us think they'll be different over where houses should be built, the rents that should be charged, the righteous level of wages, what are the industries of the future that should be invested in, which factories should be making what?