Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on March 9, 2012

in Complexity & Emergence

… is from page 283 of Harold Demsetz’s 1988 collection Ownership, Control, and the Firm; specifically, it is from his essay “The Meaning of Freedom”:

The possession of power increases the wealth of its possessor, but the possession of wealth does not in itself increase the ability of a person to limit the scope of action enjoyed by others.  Coercion may be directly correlated with power and inversely with freedom; yet, because power is not necessarily correlated with wealth, freedom bears no necessary relationship to wealth.

In a society built chiefly upon classical-liberal tenets, Bill Gates is no more free than I am.

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