… is from pages xi – xii of Gordon Tullock’s “Foreword” to J. Ronnie Davis’s 1971 book The New Economics and the Old Economists:
In a sense, public opinion is like one of those mountain snow accumulations…. As snow builds up, the likelihood that the whole drift will come crashing down the mountain steadily increases. Finally, as the ultimate snowflake falls on top of the drift, the weight is now too much too be borne, and the whole drift comes down. Major changes in public opinion tend to take the same form. A very large number of books, articles, and lectures which appear to have no great effect nevertheless prepare the way. Eventually a critical mass is reached and what appears to be an overnight change of opinion occurs.
No one has added more muscular weight to our understanding of the logic of politics and collective decision-making than has GMU Econ’s own Gordon Tullock, who today celebrates his 90th birthday.
Happy Birthday, Gordon! May you have many more years to continue adding your invaluable insights to humankind’s mountain of knowledge about economics and politics.