Hayek and welfare state

Republicans assert, endlessly, that the Austrian economist F.A. Hayek proved that the welfare state leads inevitably to socialism and tyranny in his 1944 book, The Road to Serfdom. While Hayek’s theory may have been plausible in the midst of World War II, all the evidence since then thoroughly contradicts it. There is no evidence whatsoever that welfare states morph into total state control of the economy and produce a concomitant loss of freedom and prosperity. There is not a single case of this happening anywhere. Nor is there anything in Hayek’s theory to explain why socialism collapsed in the Soviet Union or why privatization rolled it back in places like Britain.


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