Is it so difficult to run a command economy?
Yes, it is very difficult when there is no absolute power, when there are many powerful interest groups with strong support bases, when the rule of law and constitutions are supreme, like the USA. In the most recent case of the unmasking of a secret agent by a top govt official, only in the USA that the culprit can be brought to task. There is not only a separation of power, but the opposition is equally strong to prevent abuse by the top national executives. Then life is not so easy. George Bush is now facing opposition in his war in Iraq. He needs to convince the people's representatives that what he is doing is right and for the good of the nation. As long as others are not convince, he cannot do as he wishes. But when there is hardly any opposition, hardly any strong interest groups to challenge the govt, everything goes. And running a command economy is about the easiest thing to do. All essential services are a monopoly in every way. The supplier dictates the service, the quality of service, the price to be paid, without competition and opposition. How difficult is such a task? And to lose money in a monopoly is criminal. Yes there are airlines, steel mills, etc that gone bust despite being monopolies and with govt backings, all because of corruption and incompetence. In a functional govt when there is rule of law, when there is transparency, when there are watchdog agencies, incompetence and corruption will be nipped in the bud. Unless everyone is walking with eyes closed. Compare to the private sector that operates by demand, when the customer is king, life is not so easy. Any goods or service providers thinking of raising his price should be wary of losing his customers and market share. And they cannot dictate to the customer what is good for the customer. The customer decides what is good for him and what price he is willing to pay. There are alternatives and substitutions from competitive suppliers and service providers. So, which economy demands greater skills and greater talents? (Matilah, your favourite thesis)