Explaining the rationale for a federalized transportation report, then-Vice President Al Gore pontificated: "When parents are on the car phone talking to their kids explaining why they can't get home for dinner or can't do bedtime stories, that really has an impact on the quality of life." He never did explain why it's the taxpayers' problem if those parents didn't check the local traffic reports on the radio or on television before leaving the office.
Friedrich Hayek, the late Nobel laureate economist, dissected the socialist Clinton-Gore central planning orthodoxy in The Road to Serfdom:
"One argument frequently heard is that the complexity of modern civilization creates new problems with which we cannot hope to deal effectively except by central planning. This argument is based on a complete misapprehension of the working of competition. The very complexity of modern conditions makes competition the only method by which a coordination of affairs can be adequately achieved."
Hayek continued: "There would be no difficulty about efficient control or planning were conditions so simple that a single person or board could effectively survey all the facts. But as the factors which have to be taken into account become numerous and complex, no one center can keep track of them. The constantly changing conditions of demand and supply of different commodities can never be fully known, or quickly enough disseminated by any one center."
Another related problem with centralizing information is that the centralizers dictate which information gets disseminated. Will the social service providers that Hillary deems "essential" include crisis pregnancy centers, abstinence educators or faith-based family counselors? Doubt it.
If Hillary Clinton believes it is truly a legitimate function of the federal government to play Big Nanny referral operator in order to promote the general welfare, she should publicize her own private cell phone number, field the calls herself, and leave our pocketbooks alone.
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