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Welcome to the Sovietisation of the British Economy

Summary:
An interesting little commentary on how planned economies turn out:Dozens of car models — many of them plug-ins — are so scarce that second-hand versions of the same vehicle are retailing for more than those coming off the assembly line, according to the most recent data.In the latest signs of the upheaval in the car market, figures show that 25 per cent of “nearly new” cars are more expensive than their brand new equivalents.As it turns out closing down an economy then trying to get it back up again is a difficult task. Which is an interesting commentary on that difficulty of planning an economy - there is no central node of knowledge that can manage the whole thing.We’ve also seen the same thing elsewhere. In the Soviet Union, where they planned all production, this idea of the nearly

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An interesting little commentary on how planned economies turn out:

Dozens of car models — many of them plug-ins — are so scarce that second-hand versions of the same vehicle are retailing for more than those coming off the assembly line, according to the most recent data.

In the latest signs of the upheaval in the car market, figures show that 25 per cent of “nearly new” cars are more expensive than their brand new equivalents.

As it turns out closing down an economy then trying to get it back up again is a difficult task. Which is an interesting commentary on that difficulty of planning an economy - there is no central node of knowledge that can manage the whole thing.

We’ve also seen the same thing elsewhere. In the Soviet Union, where they planned all production, this idea of the nearly new being worth more than the in-production new was commonplace. Not just for cars either - a standard method of making a, admittedly small, living was to do the queuing in the shop to gain access to those new goods then resell for a profit immediately outside said store. With a possible waiting list of a decade for a new car then yes, those nearly new just off the production line examples were worth more than the new and in production ones.

This idea that the used is worth more than the new - with the exception of antiques of course - is that example of the Sovietisation of the British economy.

Sure, right here right now this is an entirely transient phenomenon, a result of the Great Pandemic. The Soviets didn’t have that excuse - which does rather show the dangers of having a properly planned economy, doesn’t it?

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Tim Worstall
Tim Worstall is a British-born writer and Senior Fellow of the Adam Smith Institute. Worstall is a regular contributor to Forbes and the Register. He has also written for the Guardian, the New York Times, PandoDaily, the Daily Telegraph blogs, the Times, and The Wall Street Journal. In 2010 his blog was listed as one of the top 100 UK political blogs by Total Politics.

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