… is another from David Friedman’s 1996 book Hidden Order; specifically, this one is from page 14 of that outstanding volume:
Economists are often accused of believing that everything – health, happiness, life itself – can be measured in money. What we actually believe is even odder. We believe that everything can be measured in anything.
Economists (good ones, at any rate) understand better than most people that money is a means – understand that money is valued not so much for itself (although money does supply extraordinarily useful services) but for the real goods and services for which it can be exchanged, and that money is so useful precisely because it is exchangeable for nearly anything – understand and appreciate the depth and richness of the truth that money is not all that matters.