In his testimony on Capitol Hill, the economist Russel Roberts is exposing the reasons why the The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) has not the anticipated by government effect on jobs creation. He is pointing out that given the lack of success so far and the role uncertainty plays in the decision-making of entrepreneurs, investors and consumers, doing less might, paradoxically, be more successful than doing more, especially if the “more” that is done works in the wrong direction.
Professor Roberts is reminding what the Nobel Prize F.A. Hayek said some fifty years ago: “the curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.” It would be good to recognize our limits about what we imagine we can design. We cannot steer the economy. Or the labor market. Recognizing our limitations is a step in the right direction.