Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on February 19, 2012

in Competition, Complexity & Emergence, Law

… is from John Erskine of Grange, a mid-18th-century Scottish jurist, who is quoted on page 114 of Arthur Herman’s 2001 book How the Scots Invented the Modern World:

There is a wide difference between constitutional and effectual liberty.

Words on parchment, paper, and dot-gov webpages mean nearly nothing if their meaning runs counter to the sentiments and expectations of the population.  Put differently, central planning of law – dictating law consciously and from on-high – is no more likely to succeed in achieving maximum coordination of the plans, and maximum fulfillment of the desires, of multitudes of people than is central planning of the economy likely to achieve such outcomes.

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