During a May 29 Council of Ministers meeting, President Raúl Castro Ruz reiterated the importance of carefully discussing every measure and analyzing all that has been done to date, to determine the small scale errors committed and correct them.Putting aside the reality that Cuba regularly arrests and imprisons those of its citizens who do just that, Friedrich Hayek long ago explained why 'articulated rationality' is such a poor substitute for pricing, when it comes to deciding what to produce, by whom and for whose benefit.
Human beings are crafting these proposals, he said, which those of us who lead the country approve, “Experience is these tasks does not always exist, that is why what we do must be constantly subjected to constructive criticism.”
What is the problem we wish to solve when we try to construct a rational economic order? On certain familiar assumptions the answer is simple enough. If we possess all the relevant information, if we can start out from a given system of preferences, and if we command complete knowledge of available means, the problem which remains is purely one of logic.Which ifs are not only grande, but impossible to fulfill by talking about them. Even if, as is clearly not the case in Cuba, those doing the talking and analyzing weren't murderous despots (and their lackeys). The information needed to produce products and services that are useful to a society, are contained in, and transmitted by, prices.
But, if Cuba admitted the validity of Hayek's point, what would the Ministers do? More importantly, where would their power, prestige, privilege come from?