Today is F.A. Hayek's 110th birthday. Hayek was perhaps the most influential libertarian thinker of the 20th century. Books such as The Road to Serfdom, The Constitution of Liberty, and Law, Legislation, and Liberty had a major impact on economics, political theory, and legal thought. Hayek also won a Nobel Prize in Economics for his technical work on monetary policy and business cycles. My personal favorite among Hayek's works is his famous 1945 article, "The Use of Knowledge in Society," which explains why private sector institutions generally do a better job of gathering and using information than government.
Last year, I wrote a post explaining why Hayek's central ideas are still relevant today, decades after he wrote his most important works. Hayek's criticism of central planning remains important in an age where governments once again seek to nationalize and restructure large sectors of the economy. His less well-known critique of conservatism also retains a great deal of relevance in our time, for reasons I elaborated here.
UPDATE: It looks like Hayek's birthday is actually May 8, rather than May 5. Sorry about the confusion. However, the silver lining of this particular cloud is that I get to post about Hayek again on Friday!
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