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March 1982

The Failure of Central Planning

Don Lavoie was an adjunct scholar at the School of Public Policy at George Mason University and an economic scholar at the Cato Institute.

In this lecture from a 1982 Center for the Study of Market Processes (now the Mercatus Center at George Mason University) conference, Lavoie lectures on the failures of central planning. Using Marx’s own framework for socialism—the elimination of capital markets, the investiture of all workers with the products of their labor, and total top-down government planning of every aspect of an economy—Lavoie explains why planned economies fail, and then uses the economy of the Soviet Union as an example.