Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on November 14, 2012

in Other People's Money, Politics

… is from page 6 of of the 1978 Arlington House edition of David D. Friedman’s path-breaking 1973 book, The Machinery of Freedom:

Under the institutions of public property, property is held (the use of things is controlled) by political institutions and that property is used to achieve the ends of those political institutions.  Since the function of politics is to reduce the diversity of of individual ends to a set of “common ends” (the ends of the majority, the dictator, the party in power, or whatever persons or group is in effective control of the political institutions), public property imposes those “common ends” on the individual.  ”Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”  Ask not, in other words, how you can pursue what you believe is good, but how you can pursue what government tells you is good.

And the core sentiment in the above quotation from David Friedman is summarized beautifully in the Steve Landsburg quotation found here.

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