That people should wish to be relieved of the bitter choice which hard facts often impose upon them is not surprising. But few want to be relieved through having the choice made for them by others. People just wish that the choice should not be necessary at all. And they are only too ready to believe that the choice is not really necessary, that it is imposed upon them merely by the particular economic system under which we live. What they resent is, in truth, that there is an economic problem.
In their wishful belief that there is really no longer an economic problem people have been confirmed by irresponsible talk about “potential plenty”- which, if it were fact, would indeed mean that there is no economic problem which makes the choice inevitable. But although the snare has served socialist propaganda under various names as long as socialism has existed, it is still as palpably untrue as it was when it was first used over a hundred years ago. In all this time not one of the many people who have used it has produced a workable plan of how production could be increased so as to abolish even in western Europe what we regard as poverty… Yet it is this false hope as much as anything which drives us along the road to planning.
from The Road to Serfdom by F. A. Hayek, first published in 1944
A wonderful observation: what we have been deluded to believe is a solution is nothing more that pretending the problem does not exist. This quest for both guns and butter, low unemployment and low inflation, high production and wealth generation AND robust government programs is just the hubris to think that we can assume away economic choices and problems with newer versions of programs than have proven to be failures throughout history.